Linda Fiorentino

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Where the Money Is Review


OK
At more than one point in his career, Paul Newman has been the ultimate con man. The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, and The Color of Money all epitomized this master of smooth talk and wily ways. But the successes of all of his past films and all of their cons have one common denominator: a memorable and talented supporting cast. In The Hustler, Jackie Gleason played Minnesota Fats, who proved to be a worthy nemesis by outsmarting the cocky and more talented Newman. Tom Cruise, in The Color of Money, was like an apprentice learning from the master sorcerer, as Newman molded Cruise into an effigy of his old self. While Newman always emerged the star, he would continually share the spotlight, so that none of those movies became one-dimensional.

Newman's latest film, Where the Money Is, directed by Marek Kanievska (Less Than Zero), unfortunately lacks the supporting cast for Newman to thrive as the luminary "hustler." In the film, Newman plays Henry Manning, a former bank robber who plans to break out of prison by faking a stroke. When he is transferred to a minimum-security nursing home, he thinks he's home free. However, the woman assigned to take care of him, Carol Ann McKay (Linda Fiorentino - Men in Black) suspects that he's a fake and attempts to lure him out of his trance so he will help her in a burglary with her and her husband Wayne (Dermot Mulroney - Copycat, My Best Friend's Wedding). She goes to some outrageous lengths to keep him from playing possum, but when she finally awakes the bank robbing legend, she faces a challenge that could change her life.

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What Planet Are You From? Review


Grim
It's always a shame to see great comedic minds fall so far from the mark. Garry Shandling is a funny man. Just check out any episode of The Larry Sanders Show. He has a wonderfully dry wit and is downright hilarious without drawing overt attention to himself. I just want to know what the hell happened to What Planet are You From?

Simple story line: Alien must come to Earth and impregnate female human being to establish future dominance of his planet's race. Comedic premise: Alien must learn how to communicate to female human beings. Comedy rolls on: Alien encounters and makes ass of himself to female human beings. Comedy continues: Alien tracked by rogue FAA agent. Comedy continues even more: Alien meets female human and falls in love. Cue drama. That's about it.

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Dogma Review


OK
That's it. Kevin Smith is going to Hell. Big Hell, with a capital H.

In Dogma, Smith's long-awaited and already vilified indictment of the Catholic church, the auteur has gone to great lengths to show us he can take on any establishment and gut it wide open. To wit:

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Jade Review


Grim
A few short weeks ago I posed the question, "What is Joe Eszterhas going to do next (after Showgirls)?" Well, this is it, and it ain't Disneyland: Jade, a horrid little thriller about a whole bunch of obsessive-compulsive crazies, some of whom may be murderers.

Actually, I wish it was that simple. Perennial bad-girl Linda Fiorentino plays Trina Gavin, a sultry psychologist with a questionable past. Chazz Palminteri is her sicko attorney husband Matt, and David Caruso plays assistant D.A. David Corelli, who is assigned to look into the murder of a wealthy art collector to whom everyone seems to be linked...especially Trina.

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Where the Money Is Review


OK
At more than one point in his career, Paul Newman has been the ultimate con man. The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, and The Color of Money all epitomized this master of smooth talk and wily ways. But the successes of all of his past films and all of their cons have one common denominator: a memorable and talented supporting cast. In The Hustler, Jackie Gleason played Minnesota Fats, who proved to be a worthy nemesis by outsmarting the cocky and more talented Newman. Tom Cruise, in The Color of Money, was like an apprentice learning from the master sorcerer, as Newman molded Cruise into an effigy of his old self. While Newman always emerged the star, he would continually share the spotlight, so that none of those movies became one-dimensional.

Newman's latest film, Where the Money Is, directed by Marek Kanievska (Less Than Zero), unfortunately lacks the supporting cast for Newman to thrive as the luminary "hustler." In the film, Newman plays Henry Manning, a former bank robber who plans to break out of prison by faking a stroke. When he is transferred to a minimum-security nursing home, he thinks he's home free. However, the woman assigned to take care of him, Carol Ann McKay (Linda Fiorentino - Men in Black) suspects that he's a fake and attempts to lure him out of his trance so he will help her in a burglary with her and her husband Wayne (Dermot Mulroney - Copycat, My Best Friend's Wedding). She goes to some outrageous lengths to keep him from playing possum, but when she finally awakes the bank robbing legend, she faces a challenge that could change her life.

Continue reading: Where the Money Is Review

Men in Black Review


Excellent
At last, someone remembered how to make a good summer movie!

With a clever, funny script and dead-on acting by title characters Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones at the heart of this hot weather gem, MIB gets it all just about right, succeeding at crossing the sci-fi and comedy genres where recent experiments like Mars Attacks! crashed and burned. Linda Fiorentino, almost unbilled in a great supporting role, also lends a fun sexiness to the film -- a picture in which the leads seem perfectly crafted for its stars.

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After Hours Review


Extraordinary
It's one of cinema's greatest freak-outs. The mild-mannered and terminably hapless Paul (Griffin Dunne, in the defining role of his career) encounters Marcy (Rosanna Arquette, ditto) in a coffee shop, reading Tropic of Cancer, naturally. When he gets her number and takes a cab ride to a desolate and rain-drenched SoHo to meet her at her loft, things take a turn for the bizarre -- with Paul finding himself entangled with an intertwined web of people, including an obsessive cocktail waitress (Teri Garr), a suicidal girl, a possibly murderous sculptress (Linda Fiorentino), an unhinged ice cream truck driver (Catherine O'Hara), and a whole host of other characters that represent some of the wackiest nutjobs in cinema. No one else seems to notice it's so bizarre except for Paul: As Dick Miller's diner cook character puts it, when it's after hours, "Different rules apply."

By the end, Paul is on the run from an angry mob who thinks he's a burglar, fleeing in fear for his life. Will he escape? Well, rest assured that After Hours is actually a comedy. It's also one of my favorite Martin Scorsese movies (and a massive departure from his grittier fare), fresh every time you see it and full of little touches that you catch more of with each subsequent viewing. Check out the rows of Aqua Net in Garr's apartment. Or the "tie" she's wearing.

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Unforgettable Review


Grim
Winner of this year's "Most Ironic Title" award, Unforgettable is anything but, taking a subject with some promise--memory transfer--and managing to butcher it into a hackneyed thriller.

Unforgettable reteams star Linda Fiorentino with director John Dahl, who worked so well together in 1994's The Last Seduction. Unfortunately, Fiorentino, who was mentioned more than once as that year's best actress, has been in free-fall ever since, starting with Jade and now turning to this. In Unforgettable, Ray Liotta plays David Krane, a Seattle medical examiner whose wife was murdered years earlier. Krane was the prime suspect, but a technicality got him off, all the while with him protesting his innocence (yes, it's O.J. again).

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The Last Seduction Review


Excellent
John Dahl (of Rounders fame) got his start here, a cool and twisty modern film noir that turned Linda Fiorentino into the '90s most exotic femme fatale (until a series of shitty thrillers drove her budding career into the dirt). Here she's an utterly cold bitch who absconds with her husband's money and winds up in a small town in upstate New York, where she engineers an even bigger con. A delight to watch as she pushes the pawns in her life around like, well, pawns.

Ordinary Decent Criminal Review


Terrible
I can only imagine one thing worse than Kevin Spacey trying on an Irish accent, and that's sultry Linda Fiorentino doing the same thing.

Accents are hardly the biggest problem with this movie, though. It's a dull-as-a-Nerf-ball script that makes Ordinary Decent Criminal far less than ordinary. It's almost painful sitting through its rote heist vignettes and endless expository scenes in between them. A bunch of IRA rhetoric doesn't add anything to Spacey's cryptic criminal, who just wants to help out his family while avoiding a fearsome prosecutor.

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What Planet Are You From? Review


Terrible

A comedian whose schtick has always been his acute social-sexual dysfunction, in "What Planet Are You From?" Garry Shandling is nothing if not well-cast as an alien packed off to Earth by his neutered, all-male race to impregnate an earth female as a prelude to invasion.

Given a crash course in inept pick-up lines and fitted with a motorized prosthetic penis that hums when he's aroused, Shandling is transported to the privy of a passenger jet and emerges to piggishly proposition stewardesses and every other female in sight, in what has to be the most awkwardly sexist comedy since the 1960s.

Populated by fundamentally unlikable, abusive men and pathetically needy, bitchy women, the drudging, deadpan farce tracks Shandling's libidinous frustration as he fails to pick up chicks and is chased by FAA investigator John Goodman (his arrival caused an air traffic incident), who figures out his secret with the flimsiest of suppositions.

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Where The Money Is Review


Weak

Even in his 70s, strapped into a wheelchair and (supposedly) paralyzed by a stroke, Paul Newman is magnetic.

In the caper comedy "Where the Money Is" he plays an aged bank robber who has spent the better part of his life in the can. His first hint of freedom in eons has come when he's transferred to a nursing home after suffering a seizure that has left him a near vegetable.

Or has it? Even motionless and contorted there's still that glint in his eye -- which doesn't go unnoticed by one caretaker, played by Linda Fiorentino.

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Dogma Review


OK

Thanks to all the is-it-or-isn't-it-blasphemy controversy surrounding "Dogma," writer-director Kevin Smith has added a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer to the opening of this renegade ribbing of the Catholic church that is so amusing ("...God has a sense of humor, just look at the platypus") it will have audiences in stitches even before the first line of dialogue.

Whether or not you'll think the movie stays this funny will depend on how sensitive you are about your position on the religious yardstick, your threshold for soapbox pontification and what it takes to gross you out.

Smith, the maverick Generation X satirist responsible for ragtag underground hits "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy," makes no bones about testing the limits of irreverence and good taste in this ironically snappy and smart-mouthed theological deliberation.

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Linda Fiorentino

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