Wednesday, February 10, 2016

1990 Capsule Reviews

Dances With Wolves
rating: *****
review: Crosses the Western with the war flick with compelling aplomb as the signal effort in the meandering path toward redeeming the Native American's place in his own, ah, country.

The Godfather Part III
rating: ****
review: Routinely dismissed as the cruel death of a beloved film saga, this is, rather, the necessarily coda in which Michael Corleone finally takes stock at the legacy he's created, and how he might yet walk away.

rating: ****
review: I like to think of this as the one where Robert De Niro proved he could be understated and still dominate the screen.  Plus it's a nice bookend to Robin Williams' prior Dead Poets Society.

rating: ****
review: For years Hollywood attempted to contextualize Mel Gibson as something other than a crazy lunatic.  Here I think it missed the boat in realizing how well he fits in with Shakespeare.

Home Alone
rating: ****
review: So outlandish it had to work, and so it did.

Pretty Woman
rating ****
review: Only a breakthrough performance could make it so easy to forget that Julia Roberts is a hooker in this movie.

rating: ***
review: So often lauded as a return to the gangster flick of yore, it took Scorsese to make the subsequent Wolf of Wall Street to realize these are bad guys everyone's rooting for, and completely irredeemable ones at that.  Hand it to Ray Liotta's snappy voiceover.

Mo' Better Blues
rating: ***
review: Spike Lee's first collaboration with Denzel Washington.  It gets better.

Young Guns II
rating: ***
review: There's a case to be made that this one's better than the original.

Dick Tracy
rating: ***
review: Warren Beatty's career kind of ended with this flick, a harbinger of how the rest of the decade would go with outlandish cinematic figures.

Edward Scissorhands
rating: ***
review: A fairy tale as only Tim Burton could tell it, incomprehensible and endearing at the same time.

The Freshman
rating: **
review: For whatever reason, Hollywood loved gangsters in a big way again at this time.  So it was only natural for Marlon Brando to put in his two cents.  He was not actually all that amused.  I think this is the point where scholars will have to begin examining his career more closely, to discover what he thought and why he ended up doing what he did with the rest of it.  Because he literally no longer saw his place in it.  A pity, because eventually, there would have been, if he'd only stuck it out.

Rocky V
rating: **
review: I think fans hate this one because it's legitimately the most depressing one, and perhaps the most honest.

Kindergarten Cop
rating: **
review: So bewildering it makes the most sense in its most memorable line: "It's not a tumah."

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
rating: **
review: To a kid, it makes perfect sense.  But to anyone else, it just looks silly.

Ghost Dad
rating: **
review: Excluding his current predicament, Bill Cosby failed to become a box office star because his first real stab at it just seems so tepid.

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