Mark Rydell

Mark Rydell

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Even Money Review


Grim
Gambling can mess people up. I've ridden in enough cabs in Vegas to have heard plenty of those stories.

This is a movie about a few more of 'em: A father (Forest Whitaker), saddled with debt, begs his college basketball star brother to lose games to pay off his bookies. And perhaps more overdone: A blocked writer (Kim Basinger) hooks up with a failed magician (Danny DeVito) to learn how to play cards and lose her and her husband's (Ray Liotta) savings. Kelsey Grammar's crippled vice detective and Tim Roth's gangster add to the mix, reminding you just how much acting talent director Mark Rydell managed to accumulate for the movie, only to squander it on a messy script that ties these story fragments together haphazardly.

Continue reading: Even Money Review

The Long Goodbye Review


OK
Robert Altman took a Raymond Chandler/Philip Marlowe novel -- God knows why -- and cast Elliot Gould as a private eye investigating a friend's death in the colorful 1970s, a far cry from the noirs of Bogie's Marlowe. It ends up with mixed results -- Marlowe is drawn as a goofy daydreamer (Altman calls him Rip Van Marlowe) and his story only gets interesting when Sterling Hayden, channeling Hemingway, goes bananas.

Hollywood Ending Review


Grim
Hollywood Ending - a trite, ugly, and self-indulgent tangent into the complex neurosis of one of American's greatest film directors - stands as Woody Allen's biggest failure in a decade.

Allen plays Val Waxman, a two-dimensional, washed-up film director with a bad case of hypochondria and a reputation in the industry that is on par with Michael Cimino. In order to resurrect his career, Waxman's ex-wife Ellie (Téa Leoni) persuades her studio bigwig boyfriend Hal (Treat Willams) and his over-tanned studio executive cronie Ed (George Hamilton) to hand over the directing duties of their new big-budget noir remake set in Manhattan. Once the deal is done and the directing duties fall into his hands, Waxman's various neuroses finally catch up with him, and he ends up suffering (along with the audience) from psychosomatic blindness.

Continue reading: Hollywood Ending Review

Hollywood Ending Review


OK

While it is getting harder and harder to indulge an aging Woody Allen's enduring fantasy of beautiful young women falling in love with him in his movies, the man's comedy instincts are as sharp as ever in "Hollywood Ending."

The sophisticated screwball jaunt stars Allen as washed-up movie director Val Waxman, whose hypochondria reaches new extremes when he's rescued from deodorant commercial hell by his producer ex-wife (Tea Leoni) and given one last shot by making a $60 million blockbuster. Panicked at the prospect of making or breaking his career -- not to mention working for his ex and the Hollywood greaseball she left him for -- Val goes psychosomatically blind.

Rather than quit the picture and doom himself to showbiz purgatory, he decides he just won't let on. He'll wing it and hope his cast and crew see his apparent ineptitude as visionary eccentricity.

Continue reading: Hollywood Ending Review

Mark Rydell

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