Ron Rotholz

Ron Rotholz

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Black And White (1999) Review


Good
A very unique and brutal subculture exists in America these days. It's a strange juxtaposition of harsh street life and uber-materialistic greed tempered with a sense of justifiability from a code of unwritten ethics. The world is that of the gangsta rappers, the ghetto boys, and the thug-life advocators that dominate the world of hip-hop and rap music. Black and White, the latest film by James Toback, explores this subculture that grows stronger with every new generation it affects.

The hardest thing about an outsider trying to infiltrate a subculture and explain it to the masses is that the truth is often lost in the translation. Toback throws together a huge canvas of characters and actors in attempt to create a clear picture of why white kids are motivated to impersonate black rappers' lifestyles and why rich whit guys treat black rappers like Arnold and Willis from Diff'rent Strokes.

Continue reading: Black And White (1999) Review

Belly Review


Terrible
Rappers shouldn't act, and actors shouldn't rap. Belly has plenty of both, making this predictable, ultra-violent, insulting story of gangland drug dealers as bad as movies get. Avoid at all costs.

American Psycho Review


Very Good
From the opening scene, showing drops of blood on a pristine white surface, we know we're in for... well, not your ordinary slasher flick. Turns out the "blood" is a berry sauce being applied to a plate of haute cuisine. And the mind games of American Psycho have only just begun.

Steeped in controversy and mired in production for years, American Psycho tells the story of Anybroker Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), a highest-society late 1980s Wall Street investment banker with a penchant for murder and a bloodlust that doesn't quit. Think of it as a portrait of Gordon Gecko as a young, homicidal man.

Continue reading: American Psycho Review

When Will I Be Loved Review


Good
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

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Ron Rotholz Movies

Black And White (1999) Movie Review

Black And White (1999) Movie Review

A very unique and brutal subculture exists in America these days. It's a strange...

Advertisement
American Psycho Movie Review

American Psycho Movie Review

From the opening scene, showing drops of blood on a pristine white surface, we know...

When Will I Be Loved Movie Review

When Will I Be Loved Movie Review

Neve Campbell's performance as Vera, a poor scheming rich girl, in When Will I Be...

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