The Monitor Movie Guide
JULY 14, 1995Skip to next paragraph
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Movies containing violence (V), sexual situations (S), nudity (N), and profanity (P) are noted. Look for more guidance in our full reviews on the Arts pages.
David Sterritt Staff Panel Meaning
O\ O\ Forget it
u u Only if it's free
uu uu Maybe a matinee
uuu uuu Wait in line
uuuu uuuu See it twice
uuu French actor Michel Blanc plays himself in this rambunctious comedy, which begins with his perplexing discovery that once-adoring fans now jeer instead of cheer when he goes by, and blame him for all sorts of problems he has nothing to do with. Much of the picture is fast and funny, although many gags have an in-joke quality aimed mainly at French-film connoisseurs. Blanc directed from his own screenplay. (R) S P
LIVING IN OBLIVION
uuu This is a low-budget independent film about the making of a low-budget independent film; fortunately, the picture we're watching is a zillion times more entertaining than the movie-within-the-movie. Written and directed by Tom DiCillo, the comedy reaches out most strongly to movie buffs who enjoy peering behind the scenes. But even casual spectators should enjoy its satire on cinematic pretensions. Steve Buscemi leads the smartly chosen cast. (R) S N P
uu The movie isn't quite that long, but it has more than one dull stretch as a man reluctantly accepts the idea of parenthood with his pregnant girlfriend. The story is loaded with cliches and perilously weak on logic. Hugh Grant goes through his usual repertoire of lovable tics, but Robin Williams steals the show as a Russian doctor who says ''Anastasia'' instead of ''anesthesia.'' Directed by Chris Columbus. (PG-13) P
uu She's a not-so-swinging single in New York, dreaming of fame as a dance-club entrepreneur but earning her living as a library clerk with a love-hate attitude toward the Dewey Decimal System. Parker Posey gives a charismatic performance in the title role, but the movie is too ragged to be called a success. Directed and cowritten by newcomer Daisy von Scherler Mayer. (R) V N P
ROY COHN/JACK SMITH
uuu Roy Cohn was a conservative attorney who hid his alleged homosexuality behind a screen of bitter rhetoric, while Jack Smith was an openly gay filmmaker and performance artist. Both are portrayed by the late Ron Vawter in this two-part movie, which juxtaposes a Cohn speech with Smith's absurdist parody of underground aesthetics. It makes provocative points on social and political issues and serves as a record of Vawter's talent, nurtured in New York's Wooster Group. Directed by Jill Godmilow. (Not rated) P
Currently in Release
uu A near-catastrophic NASA mission of 1970 is the subject of this fact-based drama about three astronauts who head for the moon, lose control of their expedition when an oxygen tank explodes, and refocus their attention on getting back to Earth in one piece. There's not much suspense, since audiences know the real-life incident ended safely, but director Ron Howard spins the story with enough gusto and gumption to make it reasonably entertaining. Tom Hanks heads a solid cast. (PG) P
uuuu Intriguing, instructive, glorious.
uu As usual, the Caped Crusader is less fun to watch than the villains he's chasing, especially the maniacal Riddler, played by Jim Carrey in a zany performance that's over the top even by his lofty standard. Tommy Lee Jones tries to match him as Two-Face, but quickly falls behind, and Nicole Kidman is fetching as a psychologist who tries to help our hero get in touch with his repressed memories. Directed by Joel Schumacher with occasional gestures toward social commentary, and enough spectacle to mask the movie's deep-down emptiness. (PG-13) V
uu Holy hyperbole! bat-lite, cartoonish.
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