Movie Review Archive - N
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A veteran narcotics detective (Ray Liotta) and a younger undercover narc (Jason Patric) search for the killer of a fellow officer. They yell at their superiors, beat suspects and argue with their wives. If you like dark, ass-kicking, shoot-em-up cop flicks, this isn't a bad one. I just don't see the point in watching these films unless they are great. 105 minutes.
National Lampoon's Van Wilder (R)
Animal House this ain't. Ryan Reynolds stars as the smug Van Wilder, a seventh year undergrad who also happens to be a popular campus wheeler-dealer. Genetic lottery winner Tara Reid (Josie And The Pussycats) co-stars as a journalism student who is assigned to do a story on Wilder for the school newspaper. Van Wilder is unbelievably gross and the film doesn't break any new ground but it is sometimes funny in an admittedly juvenile way. I can really only recommend this film to people who dream of getting their learner's permit during lulls in WWF telecasts. But then, their parents shouldn't let them see this. Also starring Tom Everett Scott (pick two names dude) and Tim Matheson (Animal House) as Van's dad. 95 minutes.
The New World (PG13)
The year is 1607. A group of brave men sailing from England have landed on the shores of what will eventually be known as Virginia. The Native Americans that they encounter are at first curious and then hostile when they realize that these strange smelling white people are not only staying but there are more coming. This beautiful and visually realistic film is long and slow and given the historical material that they have to work with, incredibly nothing much happens. Case in point: Early on during the Brit's first winter, we see a group of Natives bringing the starving settlers freshly killed deer and wild turkeys as well as pumpkins and corn. I guess that director Terrence Malick thought that we didn't actually need to see the first Thanksgiving Dinner ever! Then again, with no football game on in the background, it wouldn't really be Thanksgiving anyway. The one good thing to come out of this movie is that finally Q'Orianka Kilcher (Pocahontas) will become a household name. Also starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer and Jewish Bale. 135 minutes.
The Night Listener (R)
A restless and unhappy radio talk show host (Robin Williams) befriends a young boy who has been sexually abused and recently diagnosed with AIDS. Since they have only spoken over the phone, the possibility exists that the boy does not really exist and is in fact a cruel hoax perpetrated by a woman (Toni Collette) who claims to be his mother. A lame "thriller" that Williams should have avoided but the paycheck will probably last a lot longer than the movie. 82 minutes.
Nine Lives (R)
Nine vignettes, captured in that crappy looking new cheap digital format. Each is a twelve minute story focusing on a different woman. Some of the stories overlap. A few are interesting, a couple are poignant while others are amusing. One part of the film that I saw was out of sequence. The managers at The Spectrum told me that unlike the usual three reelers, Nine Lives arrived in nine unlabeled mini-reels. It must have been made a few years ago too because Dakota Fanning (I recently found out that there is a law in California that Ms. Fanning must be hired for one out of every three films shot there) looks to be quite a bit younger than she is now. Also starring Robbin' Write Pen, Sissy Spacechick (who's still gettin' it done in her late 50's), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction) and the ultra-svelte Holly Hunter (Broadcast News, Raising Arizona). 115 minutes.
Nine Queens (R)
Two men take part in an elaborate con game involving rare stamps. As the plot unfolds, more characters are introduced and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the swindlers from the swindlees. In the tradition of The Sting and Croupier, Nine Queens is a masterful film that will keep you guessing right up until the credits. In Spanish with subtitles. 115 minutes.
North Country (R)
Josie Aimes (an excellent Charlize Theron) and her two kids move into her parent's Minnesota home in order to escape an abusive husband. Josie gets a job at the local mine where only a handful of women work. In the male dominated world of mining, women face mental and physical abuse on a daily basis. Because Josie is new and pretty her abuse is particularly harsh. Fed up and unable to convince management and ownership that there is a problem, Josie hires an attorney (Woody Harrelson) who launches a class action suit. Based on a true story and in the tradition of Silkwood, Norma Rae, Erin Brokovich and Jodie Foster's The Accused, North Country scores big until its focus shifts into the courtroom. There it becomes a predictable clich�-ridden tear-jerker, which is too bad. This film coulda beena contendah. Also starring Sissy Spacechick, Richard Jenkins ("Six Feet Under"), Sean Bean and dusting off her Fargo accent, Francis McDormand. 127 minutes.
Steve Martin plays Dr. Frank Sangster, a dentist who is falsely suspected of dealing pharmaceutical drugs and then framed for murder, in the off-beat film-noir Novocaine. There are enough laughs, groans and double-crosses to keep you comfortably in your chair for less time than it would take for a root-canal. A nice ending as well. This film was a big hit at the recent Woodstock Film Festival. Also starring Laura Dern, Scott Caan and the deliciously trashy Helena Bonham Carter (pick TWO names honey).