Civil War veteran John Carter wakes up in a strange, barren land with no idea of where he is. He soon discovers that he has been transported to the populated Barsoom, which is more commonly known as the planet Mars. He becomes involved in a massive conflict on the planet, with civilisation on Barsoom dying as a result. The beautiful Princess Dejah Thoris tells John that fate has brought him here and that the population and existence of Barsoom depends on him, which John reluctantly accepts.
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His writing partner was the gleefully vulgar Joe Eszterhas, who clearly timed this dirty little movie to cash in on the post-Basic Instinct Sharon Stone's newly notorious nether regions (and reissued on DVD to cash in on Basic Instinct 2). A credible actress (see Casino), Stone has always seemed willing to sabotage her own reputation by pandering to our, um, basic instincts, especially when the heavy-breathing Eszterhas is pulling the strings. Remember, this is the guy who wrote Showgirls.
Continue reading: Sliver Review
Turns out it doesn't matter much. Ford is of course a talented action/adventure hero, maybe the best ever. It's too bad that this Jack Ryan adventure has less epic-ness than Red October; it's written small, with Ryan caught up in an IRA attack on British bigwigs. After capping off a few of them in an impromptu streetfight, Ryan finds his family hunted down in America. Eventually -- of course -- he has to save them (using his litany of superspy tricks and tactics).
Continue reading: Patriot Games Review
The compulsive listmaking and mathematical precision of Greenaway's earlier films is present and intact, but the center of 8 1/2 Women is ultimately hollow and painfully obvious. His very concept reduces women to childish fantasies such as the sexually repressed nun (Toni Collette), the pregnant woman (Natacha Amal), the nubile bombshell (Polly Walker), the prudish accountant who wears thick glasses (Vivian Wu, from The Pillow Book) and the woman who adores her pet horse and pig (Amanda Plummer). The "half-woman" has no legs, of course.
Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review
Such is the rather large pill you are supposed to swallow if you truly want to enjoy Emma, the latest in the incessant parade of increasingly bad adaptations of so-called "classic" novels.
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Continue reading: Robinson Crusoe (1996) Review
David (Alan Rickman) and Alexis (Polly Walker) are suffering through an unhappy marriage where every look and gesture has fifteen shades of meaning, most of it tinted with frustration and hostility. Taking a page from Polanski's Cul-de-Sac, these characters are taking their vacation on a remote island off the coast of Maine.
Continue reading: Dark Harbor Review
The result is two films slapped together. Neither of them are very good on their own, and combined they make little to no sense at all, since the stories bear no resemblance to one another at all.
Continue reading: The Gambler (1997) Review
Merivel, the kind of guy who pawns his medical instruments to buy time with prostitutes, starts out as a pretty loathsome chap. However, he's also a pretty talented (and daring) physician, and after healing the King's beloved spaniel, he is brought into the fold of nobility. But the story then takes an inexplicable turn as Merivel is given a knighthood and coerced to marry the King's mistress, Celia (Polly Walker), and then promptly falls in love with her.
Continue reading: Restoration Review
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