Written by: Nicholas Klein, from a story by Nicholas Klein and Wim Wenders Directed by: Wim Wenders Starring: Bill Pullman, Andie MacDowell, Gabriel Byrne, Traci Lind, Pruitt Taylor Vince
My Advice: Wait for MST3K.
Let me try to synopsisize this thing for you. Bill Pullman is a movie producer who doesn’t have time for his wife (MacDowell) and who almost gets killed by two hitmen for some reason but are spotted by Gabriel Byrne who sits in an observatory watching the entire L.A. basin when he’s not boffing his housekeeper (Marisol Padilla SÃ¡nchez) or delivering pizza to his dad (Sam Fuller) and then killer satellites (or something even more sinister) save Pullman from sure death while on the side his wife starts boffing a rap star (K. Todd Freeman). Oh, and throw in some fair performance poetry (Nicole Parker) and something about an actress who wants you to define everything (Lind) and the detective who loves her (Vince). Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson Written by Philip Eisner Starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, Richard T. Jones
My Advice: Matinee.
Okay, let me say this right out of the starting gate. I eat pepperoni pizza and watch Dawn of the Dead at the same time, okay? I am not one to let myself get overly disturbed by a film; the last instance of that was Jacob’s Ladder. But this film left me completely and utterly unable to sleep. This has never happened before. So I look at this film with a great deal of respect, despite its flaws.
Plot: A superhightech spaceship disappears and then reappears seven years later, and a team is sent to investigate. First, let’s get some things out of the way that are obvious problems: Some of the laws of physics are not just broken but sneered at. Also, somewhere along the line Eisner thought to himself, “Cenobite.” There is a question about a particular recording and how far-fetched it is that everyone’s forgotten how to speak Latin other than one guy on a spaceship. But there’s a lot of other things that make you think those things later: A harrowing sequence in an airlock, a really messed up clue of what happened to the ship’s original crew, and the production design with a ship sure to please any black-eyelined leather-wearing goth.
Written by: Akiva Goldsman Directed by: Joel Schumacher Starring: George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone
My Advice: Wait for MST3K
What a marvelous study in what not to do. I won’t even begin to waste your time synopsizing this thing. I only hope textbooks someday use this piece of shite as a nice negative example of filmmaking. Don’t get me wrong, there are some kudos to hand out. Clooney would make a fine Bruce Wayne/Batman–if he was in another film that actually had decent dialogue. O’Donnell would make a fine Robin, even with the dialogue–if he were ten years younger. Schwarzenegger would make a great Mr. Freeze (the moments he spends pining over his wife are the best in the entire film)–if he didn’t spew out really crappy one-liners everytime he opened his blue glowing mouth. Uma Thurman did exactly what Schumacher asked for–act like an idiot, so she gets the points even though her hairstyle was a cross between the Mother character in Pink Floyd The Wall and Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd. Alicia Silverstone doesn’t fool me for one minute–she’s twelve. Michael Gough comes out of this smelling like roses, since he’s been the only consistently good thing in all four films, despite being turned into Alfred Headroom at one point. He also gets bonus points for his character becoming terminally ill in a desperate attempt not to be in the fifth film. John Glover is mildly amusing as Jason Woodrue, although he’d be in much better shape in another movie altogether. I’ll give a dollar to anyone who can convince me that Vivica Fox and Elle Macpherson served any purpose in this film whatsoever. And am I the only one who noticed that Uzi Gal (creator of the gun) was a cop in this? Qwa?