Thursday, March 3, 2016

1996 Capsule Reviews

Star Trek: First Contact
rating: *****
review: Maybe I sound like I'm being less than objective when I heap this much praise on a Star Trek movie and admit that I'm an unabashed Star Trek fan.  But one of the things critics always used against the franchise in their reviews is that while it had Patrick Stewart, it never gave him material worthy of him.  Which is exactly what this movie does.  It builds to a truly great moment in which Captain Picard realizes that he's let revenge get the better of him, with Stewart delivering some truly exceptional work to drive it home.

Looking for Richard
rating: *****
review: Al Pacino's examination of Richard III should be required viewing for anyone who still has yet to understand the appeal of Shakespeare.

Mission: Impossible
rating: ****
review: There's a reason why Tom Cruise keeps making these movies, and it's not just because they're his most reliable source for box office success.  It's because he legitimately made this franchise his own, starting with a classic to kick it all off.

Independence Day
rating: ****
review: Where Jurassic Park left off, this is the blockbuster that ended up reviving Hollywood's efforts to crack open the box office with an idea that just blossomed all on its own, and solidly connected with audiences.  Finally seeing a much-anticipated sequel twenty years later.  Hopefully fans will appreciate this opportunity.

The Island of Dr. Moreau
rating: ****
review: Famously heckled as Marlon Brando's late career farce, I prefer to think of it as his direct criticism of the state of mankind, so that it is a farce, deliberately so.  Also along for the ride are a game Val Kilmer and David Thewlis a few years before he became a known commodity.

From Dusk Till Dawn
rating: ****
review: Superfriends Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino collaborate directly on a film for the first and so far only time in their careers, and in the process give George Clooney an unlikely but thrilling start to his film career.

Jerry Maguire
rating: ****
review: For me, this is what an Oliver Stone romance would look like, a movie with a conscience as well as heart.  Another of Tom Cruise's best.

The Cable Guy
rating: ****
review: Where Dumb and Dumber was deliriously unfocused, this famous Jim Carrey misfire was more like biting satire, and is arguably one of his best.

rating: ****
review: One of the great '90s cult sensations has kind of been forgotten over the years, but stands toe-to-toe with similar movies from other decades, like A Clockwork Orange, and is probably better.

Happy Gilmore
rating: **8
review: The Adam Sandler phenomenon a few years later is justified by this earlier effort, in which he somehow turns Bob Barker into a legitimate scene-stealing star.

Primal Fear
rating: ***
review: Edward Norton, for far too many critics, could never live up to his career-making performance.  But he's done better since, and in better movies.

Romeo + Juliet
rating: ***
review: In hindsight a snapshot of greatness-in-the-making, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the famous doomed lovers.

The English Patient
rating: ***
review: You have to be very patient indeed to appreciate this one.

The Nutty Professor
rating: ***
review: Eddie Murphy revives his career but the biggest problem, or perhaps only problem, is that he has nothing to work against but himself.

rating: ***
review: Ingenious meta reconstruction of '80s horror tropes.

rating: ***
review: Thorough presentation of Shakespeare's famous tragedy.

Mars Attacks!
rating: ***
review: Madcap parody of Independence Day featuring Jack Nicholson in various roles.

That Thing You Do!
rating: ***
review: Tom Hanks directs the story of a fictional '60s band with everything but a Tom Hanks playing the lead.

Mary Reilly
rating: ***
review: Famously sunk Julia Roberts' career (briefly) but is otherwise a fun variation on Jekyll and Hyde.

The Fan
rating: **
review: Variation on the obsessed fan story featuring Robert De Niro.

The Rock
rating: **
review: Created the Nicholas Cage action genre.

The Phantom
rating: **
review: A preview of The Mask of Zorro, complete with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

rating: **
review: The best thing about this is Bill Murray's ridiculous hair.

Courage Under Fire
rating: **
review: Not exactly A Few Good Men.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
rating: **
review: Disney nobly trying something completely different.

The Quest
rating: **
review: Jean Claude Van Damme makes his own Bruce Lee movie.

Rumble in the Bronx
rating: **
review: Jackie Chan's breakout hit is not as entertaining as you'd think.

rating: Rubbish based on a rubbish book.

No comments:

Post a Comment