Category Archives: 1996

Slingblade - * * * 1/2*

Interesting characters and solid acting help to redeem a somewhat predictable story in Sling Blade. Billy Bob Thornton directs and stars as Karl Childers, a mentally retarded man who has spent the last twenty-five years in a mental institution after … Continue reading

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The Crucible - * * * 1/2*

Stirring adaptation of Arthur Miller’s portrayal of the Salem witch hunts. In a moment of weakness, John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) has an affair with his servant Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder). His wife, Elizabeth (Joan Allen), sends Abigail away, but she … Continue reading

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101 Dalmatians - * *

101 Dalmatians starts out greatly, with some excellent animal training scenes, combined with superb sets, costumes and a grand sense of style. Then it devolves into a half-rate Home Alone with animals. What a waste! Those familiar with the cartoon … Continue reading

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Star Trek: First Contact - * * *

Once again the Star Trek series goes back in time, a theme used a bit too often, but used to good effect in this action packed entry. The film opens with the cybernetic Borg making an all-out attack on the … Continue reading

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Jingle All the Way - * *

Easily the worst of any of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attempts at comedy, Jingle All The Way aims its sights at the commercialization of Christmas, but continually misfires. Schwarzenegger plays Howard Langston, an overworked father who consistently neglects his son, Jamie (Jake … Continue reading

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The English Patient - * * * *

Visually stunning adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s book about love, betrayal and loss before and during the second World War. Ralph Fiennes is the title character, a horribly burned man recovering in a makeshift hospital on the Italian countryside. Juliette Binoche … Continue reading

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Space Jam - * 1/2*

There’s surprisingly little amusement in this mixed animation-live action basketball flick. The story begins with an alien amusement park, Moron Mountain, run by the evil alien capitalist Swackhammer (voiced by Danny DeVito). His park is falling apart, and he decides … Continue reading

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The Mirror Has Two Faces - * * *

A thoughtful romantic comedy about love, marriage, sex and society. Barbra Streisand stars as Rose Morgan, a professor of literature, who though unlucky at love, still dreams of romance. Jeff Bridges is Gregory Larkin, a mathematics professor, who becomes convinced … Continue reading

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Breaking the Waves - * * *

Breaking the Waves is a surprisingly spiritual film whose effect gradually sneaks up on you throughout its length. Emily Watson stars as Bess, an innocent and naive girl raised in a stern northern Scottish village. At the film’s outset, she … Continue reading

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Shine - * * * 1/2*

Shine is a small, but astonishing tale of the fall and rise of a prodigal pianist. The first half of the film is told in flashbacks as the mentally unstable middle-aged David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush) recalls his childhood. Here, David … Continue reading

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