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Swimming To Cambodia Review


Essential
With Spalding Gray's recent appearance at the Paramount (in Austin), we have a perfect excuse to revisit his masterwork, the highly-acclaimed Swimming to Cambodia. If you aren't familiar with Gray, he is a singularly unique entertainer--a monologist whose films and live performances consist of his "raving, talking head" behind a desk for 90-plus minutes, and they are always completely enthralling. In Swimming to Cambodia, Gray relates his experiences during the filming of The Killing Fields, a movie in which he had a minor role. Along the way, Gray speaks ostensibly about the malignancy of the early 1970s: Vietnam, the Kent State massacre, and the genocide committed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, on which Fields is based. However, it is through Gray's subtle parallels with the evils of today--our urban strife, sex parlors, drugs, and deviants--that Gray's message really proves that we have become callused by the past and that our innocence has truly been lost. Laurie Anderson's tribal score and Demme's perfectly-executed direction take us right inside the mind of this eccentric genius. And it's one hell of a visit.

The 24 Hour Woman Review


OK
Rosie Perez annoys less than usual in this waste of celluloid, about a TV producer so driven, even a pregnancy won't stop her! Flat and limp for a supposed comedy, The 24 Hour Woman should have quit after 20 minutes.

All I Wanna Do Review


OK
Dead Poets Society it ain't.

This lighthearted comedy features the Teenage Girl Class of 1998 in a silly prep school that is about to do the unthinkable: admit boys. Amidst the bulimia and the hair dye pranks, there's not much learnin' to be done so why not hatch a plan to get the boys banned for life? All this culminates in an obviously re-edited (the film has lost 20-some minutes of running time and has earned a new, meaningless title) strike with the gals taking over the school.

Continue reading: All I Wanna Do Review

The Center Of The World Review


Excellent
At a time when filmed eroticism between intelligent, complex adults is at something of a nadir, Wayne Wang comes along with the sexiest film in quite some time. The Center of the World deals with themes of loneliness and sexuality, and how the two are (or are not) intertwined.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Richard, a typical (almost stereotypical) techo-geek who made a million dollars the year prior and is about to make a lot more through an IPO. We are introduced to him and Florence (Molly Parker) as they check into a hotel suite in Las Vegas. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Richard recently met Florence, a freckled stunner, at the strip club where she works. Within five minutes, Wang sets the film's tone by having Parker perform an act that eliminates any chance for an R rating -- a shocking act for a lead actress in a mainstream film, and one that suggests that freedom of sexuality is a major issue here (and that Parker is an actress with few boundaries).

Continue reading: The Center Of The World Review

Blue In The Face Review


Good
It took all of five days after wrapping the shoot of Smoke to create Blue in the Face, an (allegedly) all-improvised follow-up to Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's feature centered on a tiny smoke shop in Brooklyn. It's a weird experiment in filmmaking, studded with cameos by Lou Reed, Madonna, Michael J. Fox, Roseanne, Lily Tomlin, and more. Unfortunately, you've probably seen all the funniest bits in the movie's trailer.

Separated into segments with titles like "Brooklyn Attitude," Blue in the Face explores the Brooklyn mystique and the Brooklyn experience with video interviews and impromptu sketches. Everything "Brooklyn" is praised, from Ebbets Field and Jackie Robinson to Belgian Waffles and the sanctity of the local cigar store.

Continue reading: Blue In The Face Review

Lulu On The Bridge Review


OK
Paul Auster (writer of Wayne Wang's Smoke and Blue in the Face) is no stranger to oddball productions. Lulu on the Bridge is another step down the path to David Lynch, with Harvey Keitel as a sax player who gets shot and -- after a miracle recovery that leaves him with one lung -- embarks on an adventure involving Mira Sorvino and a magic rock that glows in the dark. Oh-kayyyyy. It all becomes all-too-apparent what's been going on by the end of this, so after plenty of mood lighting and jazz music, you're released back into the world to completely forget everything you saw. Whatever.

Smoke Review


Good
When you sit in the theater, staring up at the big screen, during the first few minutes of Smoke, you know you're watching an "Art Movie." Smoke obviously has no misgivings about its place in the film chain, being perhaps the best example of a pure character-driven drama to come along in ages.

The sketchy plotline defies explanation. Basically, Smoke is the lazy, drawn-out story of a smoke shop owner, Auggie (Harvey Keitel), his estranged lover (Stockard Channing), a favorite patron/novelist, Paul (William Hurt), and the young man who saves his life (newcomer Harold Perrineau). As $5,000 is kicked around among these characters, their lives interact in unpredictable ways. Sometimes this is interesting, often it's just tiresome.

Continue reading: Smoke Review

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'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

'Modern Family' Casts TV's First Transgender Child Actor

Jackson Millarker will star in episode ‘A Stereotypical Day’ set to air in the US on Wednesday evening.

'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

'Will And Grace' Comes Back For Mini Episode To Voice Support For Hillary Clinton

The cast had teased something big was coming and all was revealed on Monday night.

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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.

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The Center of the World Movie Review

The Center of the World Movie Review

At a time when filmed eroticism between intelligent, complex adults is at something of a...

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