The Monitor Movie Guide
(Page 2 of 5)
uu Informative, troubling, too long.Skip to next paragraph
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BRIAN WILSON: I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES (Not Rated)
uuu Rocking, rolling, highly entertaining portrait of the great guiding force behind the Beach Boys, one of the most important groups in pop-music history. The picture would be stronger if it had more footage and music from bygone years, instead of focusing almost entirely on Wilson's present-day musings. It's mighty captivating as it is, though. Directed by Don Was. Shown in some places with ''Gentle Giants,'' director Bruce Weber's brief, beautiful look at favorite movie stars, pop-culture icons, and dogs. P
THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN (R)
uu The personal, family, and romantic adventures of four Irish-American brothers in the New York City suburbs. The movie tries earnestly to blend wry humor with a no-nonsense charm deemed appropriate for its working-class characters, but the acting and scripting are too uneven for either the drama or the comedy to gather much steam. Written and directed by Edward Burns, who also plays one of the main characters. S P
uuu Unpretentious, funny, frank.
u A fleeing fugitive gets lost in the woods with a rowdy group of Cub Scout campers. Older kids may appreciate the comedy's brash vulgarity. Others may feel the title refers to them. Daniel Stern stars, which makes sense, since this is basically an outdoor edition of ''Home Alone.'' Greg Beeman directed.
uu Valley-girl types cope with life, love, and clothes in a Los Angeles high school. For a while, it's like really cool, with lots of energy and stuff, but then it gets like major repetitious, and you wish it was like over, y'know? As if! Directed by comedy specialist Amy Heckerling. P
uu So totally entertaining, playful, clued in.
DANGEROUS MINDS (R)
u Michelle Pfeiffer plays a new teacher confronting a class of inner-city students with various chips on their shoulders. Movie stars have tamed sassy kids in movies from ''The Blackboard Jungle'' to ''Stand and Deliver,'' but it's hard to remember an example more patronizing or sentimentalized than this one. Directed by John N. Smith, whose earlier ''The Boys of St. Vincent'' is incomparably superior in every department. V P
uu Predictable, patronizing, shallow.
uu Vengeance and violence follow a man stalking an elusive enemy with a guitar case full of guns. There are enough clever cinematic setups to make this an improvement over Robert Rodriguez's previous picture, the hyperactive ''El Mariachi,'' and Steve Buscemi gives a winning performance that's over all too soon. But for the most part, this is just another exercise in snappy editing and over-the-top mayhem that will leave most grown-up moviegoers cold. Antonio Banderas stars. V S N P
uu El Pulpo Fictiono, ludicrous, satirical, shallow.
DOUBLE HAPPINESS (PG-13)
uuu Even single happiness is hard to grasp when you're a young Chinese-Canadian woman with an acting career that's stalled at the starting line, a white boyfriend who's a little too pushy, and old-fashioned parents who think they always know what's best. Mina Shum's debut film is consistently warm and amusing, although its energy flags a bit as the story unfolds. P
HYENAS (Not Rated)
uuu A woman returns to her village in Senegal after many years, offering to lift it out of poverty if the townspeople will inflict vengeance on a man who wronged her long ago. Based on Friedrich Duerrenmatt's haunting play ''The Visit,'' this engrossing drama is at once an unsettling psychological study and a pungent commentary on the temptations of materialism in the third world. Directed by the great Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety. V
I CAN'T SLEEP (Not Rated)