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The Long Shrift Opening Night - Arrivals

Karen Allen - Opening night of The Long Shrift at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Monday 14th July 2014

Karen Allen
Karen Allen

Premiere of 'The Revisionist' held at the Cherry Lane Theatre

Karen Allen - Premiere of 'The Revisionist' held at the Cherry Lane Theatre - Arrivals - New York City, United States - Thursday 28th February 2013

Picture - Karen Allen , Sunday 14th October 2012

Karen Allen Sunday 14th October 2012 Opening night of the new play 'Turning Page' at the Cherry Lane Theatre

Karen Allen
Karen Allen

Picture - Harrison Ford and Karen Allen , Wednesday 21st May 2008

Harrison Ford and Karen Allen - Harrison Ford and Karen Allen Wednesday 21st May 2008 Paramount Pictures hosts a special fan screening of

Picture - Eric McCormack,Karen Allen , Wednesday 21st May 2008

Eric Mccormack and Karen Allen - Eric McCormack,Karen Allen Wednesday 21st May 2008 Paramount Pictures hosts a special fan screening of

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review


Good
The great thing about the movies is that our heroes never age. We can keep going back to Chaplin, Newman, or Hepburn (either one), and with the exception of some dated slang, they remain as fresh as the day they stepped foot in front of the camera.

And so, when a bona fide classic character like Indiana Jones, last seen on the big screen 19 long years ago, makes his big return (with all the itinerant hype), fans of the series are faced with a painful mix of emotions. Of course there's joy: Another episode of what might be my favorite childhood movie series is a delightful prospect. But then there's despair: Indy may not age, but Harrison Ford does. Indiana Jones is no longer a spry young guy but a veritable senior citizen. And if Indiana Jones is old, that means I'm getting old, too.

Continue reading: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review

Cruising Review


Good
Were it not set in the gay underworld of its era, 1980's Cruising would be a largely unremarkable film. But provocateur William Friedkin did set it in this underworld -- a seedy, sex-filled shocker than must have had audiences in tears -- and thus it has become a cult classic, almost notorious, really.

The story is, by and large, traditional serial killer fare: Someone is stabbing gay men to death, often in lewd situations. The NYPD captain (Paul Sorvino) sends in Steve Burns (Al Pacino) undercover to ferret out the killer. The straight-edge Steve learns all about gay culture, in which pocket to put bandanas to indicate your proclivities, and so on. But by and large he's just supposed to "go out there and find the killer." But the undercover activity takes its toll on his psyche, most notably in his (non-gay) relationship with Nancy (Karen Allen, virtually the only woman in the film at all).

Continue reading: Cruising Review

Scrooged Review


Good
Treatments of A Christmas Carol don't get much more quirky -- or memorable -- than this 1988 adaptation of the Dickens classic, done with no attempt to maintain respect for the stuffy source material. As a Scrooge-like TV producer (producing a live adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim), Bill Murray doesn't even come close to stealing the show from a host of characters who do: Bob Goldthwait as a gun-toting Cratchitt type, Carol Kane as a memorably pugilistic ghost of Christmas present, and many more. Not quite a "classic," but a roaring good time.

Poster Boy Review


Grim
Poster Boy is an overwrought drama far more interested in making political points than in entertaining its audience. The story of an arch-conservative Senator whose reelection campaign is threatened by the potential outing of his estranged gay son, it's held together with a hard-to-accept mish-mash of coincidences, pontifications, and badly lit sex scenes, all shot with a shaky handheld camera that inspires more wooziness than urgency.

The obese and ugly North Carolina Senator Jack Kray (Michael Lerner) keeps his boozy wife (Karen Allen) on a very short leash and would do the same to his college student son Henry (Matt Newton) if Matt were still close enough. When they reunite on the eve of a speech that the Senator will deliver on Henry's campus, Henry is appalled to find out that father wants him to deliver a fawning introduction to dear old dad. When Henry balks, Dad simply smacks him in the face. Nice.

Continue reading: Poster Boy Review

Ghost in the Machine Review


Grim
Technology has been the Luddite boogeyman since the dawn of time. But it's no longer fashionable to eschew all modern conveniences; the guy who can't turn on a computer has automatically thrown himself out of the gene pool. Heck, at my office (yes, even we esteemed film critics often have day jobs) one of the tech nerds is approaching 80. You've got to evolve to survive, and in our day and age of wireless hotspots and podcasts, fear of the machine equals pariah status. The Luddite is a Cro-Magnon. But our modern culture has always been about dichotomy. And in a purely American way, the Luddites - while unable to download a song or even run a spell check - have something that we techies have lost: an appreciation for the simple, quiet life and old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone work. It goes like this: You can love the machines and get a kick from using them, but rely on them too much and you'll lose your soul. It's like a modern day Descartes-ian dilemma: what really separates us from our technology? The makers of films like Ghost in the Machine argue that all our technological advances have improved our lives but they can't fight off the "real" evil that always surrounds us. The type of evil you can't ctrl-alt-delete away.

Debuting before uncaring audiences in 1993, director Rachel Talalay's (Tank Girl) Ghost in the Machine is a derivative sci-fi/horror hybrid that adds nothing new to the old "amok machine" genre that is represented best by director Donald Cammell's Demon Seed. The plot concerns Karl, the "Address Book Killer," (the horror!) played by Ted Marcoux (Dark Blue), who is killed in a freak accident and has his ever-living and ever-evil soul transferred directly into the power supply. (Don't even ask.) Karl roams the electric highway, possessing all manner of gadgets and kitchenware, as he stalks lovely Karen Allen and her son.

Continue reading: Ghost in the Machine Review

Scrooged Review


Good
Treatments of A Christmas Carol don't get much more quirky -- or memorable -- than this 1988 adaptation of the Dickens classic, done with no attempt to maintain respect for the stuffy source material. As a Scrooge-like TV producer (producing a live adaptation of A Christmas Carol, starring Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim), Bill Murray doesn't even come close to stealing the show from a host of characters who do: Bob Goldthwait as a gun-toting Cratchitt type, Carol Kane as a memorably pugilistic ghost of Christmas present, and many more. Not quite a "classic," but a roaring good time.

The Basket Review


Good
It's Hoosiers: Episode 1, in this oddball period piece about the early days of basketball and its arrival in a small Washington farming village. The eccentric new schoolteacher (Peter Coyote) -- he plays German opera in class! -- also brings a game involving the tossing of a round ball into a peach basket. In order to raise money for farm equipment, the town pools together to send the local boys to play against the state champs. Lots of feelin' good ensues.

Plain Dirty Review


Grim
Hillbilly girl (Dominique Swain) has affair with big city attorney, so her hick husband (Henry Thomas) locks her up in the house. Will she escape? Or more to the point: Will you bother to keep watching until she escapes? This boring melodrama has little going for it, proving once again that no one will ever give Swain the chance to appear in a movie that doesn't suck out loud.

Continue reading: Plain Dirty Review

My Horrible Year! Review


OK
Really nutty after-school special masquerading as a feature film. With such problems as braces, no love life, squabbling parents, and a mirror that talks back to her, what's a girl (Allison Mack) to do on the eve of her Sweet Sixteen? Throw a romantic dinner to keep mom and dad together, of course. Silly, mindless, but harmless fun.

But check out the director -- Eric Stoltz! How did a guy more often associated with tales of murderous drug lords and down-'n'-out slackers come to direct a teen girls' flick?

Continue reading: My Horrible Year! Review

When Will I Be Loved Review


OK
Neve Campbell's performance as Vera, a poor scheming rich girl, in When Will I Be Loved is probably her best ever. The shock of watching her isn't that Campbell does anything particularly different with her manner, voice, or body (apart from appearing naked), but that her recessive chirpiness is shaped into something expressive yet mysterious. She seems to be going through the movie one scene at a time, taking everything in while refusing to let her face betray what will happen next (even if nothing much happens). Vera is essentially a flintier, less likable version of the expert manipulator and sexpot Campbell played in Wild Things.

Wild Things, it should be noted, is more successful at exploitation than Loved is at provocation, despite the superior Campbell performance and director James Toback's best efforts. The central story of Loved, in fact, would've taken up about 45 seconds of that Florida twistathon: Campbell's hustler of a boyfriend Ford (Fred Weller) tries to pimp her out to Count Tommaso (Dominic Chianese), "the Italian media mogul," as at least one character helpfully notes. That's as much as can be revealed without summarizing the entire breezy 80 minutes.

Continue reading: When Will I Be Loved Review

Karen Allen

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