I'm sorry to say that I'm no longer updating this site. Time commitments at work and home have limited the number of screenings I attend, so there probably won't be new reviews anytime soon. Sorry!
last updated April 8, 1999 - brought to you by haughey.com
Kinky - (1/10)
Oh my gawd, was this awful. Kate Winslet's first movie after
Titanic is absolutely
terrible. It's a story of a woman with two young daughters, living
in Morocco in the late 60's. Their lives are chaos from day to day,
just as the script feels to viewers. There's very little plot development,
the characters are all weak, and there's basically little, if any,
story holding it all together. Avoid this film at all costs, it's
that bad. They should have chopped the word "Kinky"
off the title, since the remainder would be much more fitting.
(Previewed March 24 1999, released April 26 1999)
Walk on the Moon - (7/10)
This was a nice little tale set in 1969, a woman is trapped
in her boring life, she meets a hippie and has a brief affair with
him. While she's involved in this liberating relationship, she forgets
about her husband and teenage daughter, which results in family problems.
It's a little better than Bridges
of Madison County, because the main character realizes how much
her family means to her and how important they are, the affair isn't
some high point in her life, but an opportunity for reflection and
growth for the entire family.
(Previewed March 17 1999, released March 26 1999)
Corruptor - (2/10)
Ugh. This was another forgettable action film with lots of explosions
and gunshots, but a weak plot and no characters. I'm also surprised
that Chow Yun Fat wasted his talent on something as lame as this.
Except for one cool car chase sequence, it's mostly clumsy action
formula. Also, a big beef I have with this film is the portrayal of
women in it. There is a single female on the police force who has
maybe two lines in the entire movie, and every other female plays
a prostitute! If you check the credits, the only woman listed plays
Chow Yun Fat's favorite hooker, and says maybe all of five words.
It's annoying really, that in 1999, movies with no female roles are
still made. Sheesh.
Movie interview bonus: The director talked about
his craft and how some of the elaborate stunts sequences were done.
When questions approached criticism though, he sort of freaked out
and talked about how much of an artisté he was. In other words, he
was too wrapped up in himself to see that he's just another hack making
cheesy action movies.
(Previewed March 10 1999, released March 12 1999)
Intentions - (7/10)
Another update of the classic Dangerous
Liaisons tale. Nicely acted by all the young actors, the male
lead is just likeable enough that you feel bad for him at the end.
It's a fairly hip movie, but the story has been told so many times
before that it's pretty predictable. On the other hand, the audience
this was geared towards hasn't probably ever heard of the other versions
of this story.
Movie interview bonus: The costume designer said
the females in this movie were all size 2(!!!) which sent gasps through
the crowd. She designed the clothes to reflect some of the 17th century
wear of the original story, but with 90's flash and flair. The Line
Producer talked about how much work it was to keep the budget down,
as this movie was made for only 9 million (which is impressive after
seeing it, it's very slick and expensive looking).
(previewed March 3 1999, released March 5 1999)
End of the Ocean -
A fairly forgettable film about a missing child being found ten
years later. It's interesting in the problems it brings up (how to reunite
the boy to his natural parents, what should you do, etc.), but blows it on
the execution. After the boy is reunited, we never see any psychologists
helping anyone, as they are going through emotional turmoil day by day.
The worst part about this film is the ending. It's a typical "happily
ever after" ending that seems tacked on, as none of the characters'
problems have apparently worked out before the resolution.
Movie interview bonus: The producer and a supporting
actor spoke about various aspects of the film. The ending in the film is
true to the book, much to everyone's surprise. Many aspects of the book
did not make it into the film, which would have made the movie much
different, and probably better. Apparently Michelle Pfeiffer was great to
work with on the set, but one weird thing she did was insist that an
alternate ending be shot. It tested poorly and was scrapped. Also, we
found out that several other pivotal scenes were shot but not in the film.
(Previewed February 24 1999, released March 12 1999)
This film has a great premise: film yourself going on twenty dates
with twenty different women, trying to find love. It's pretty funny, as
Myles, the main guy, acts like a complete idiot on most of the dates. He
intended to make a pessimistic movie about how impossible it is to find
love in LA, but eventually finds someone about halfway through the dates.
They're even getting married soon. Pretty funny overall, the best laughs
come from the problems that pop up on the dates Myles is on, and the
secretly taped conversations between him and his producer. I also liked
this movie because it was made for $60,000, and looks like anyone can
still make a funny film on the cheap.
Movie interview bonus: Myles Berkowitz, the guy behind
this entire project talked about how long it took to film (about six
months) and how long it took to edit (about 18 months). He said nothing in
the movie was scripted except for the narration. The interviews with his
producer in the movie were real, other sources have backed that up as
(previewed February 4 1999, released February 26 1999)
in a Bottle -
I probably would have liked this better (or hated it less) if the
associate producer didn't say something like this after the screening:
"We struck a balance between formula romance and real life. I don't
think it ever went over the top." Dictionaries printed after this
year can use the movie poster as an illustration for the word
"trite." More specifically, the first hour and 50 minutes (the
film is 2hrs 6min total) is filled with mindless dribble passing for dialogue
that's more at home in a romance novel than a film. The music score was
overpowering in almost every scene, turning all the emotional moments into
transparent attempts to squeeze tears from the audience. Costner turned in
a non-performance, overacting a "quiet, introvert" with all the subtlety
of a jackhammer. The
only highlights of the picture were the small dose of
"real-life" near the end (they could have carried the romance
novel shtick all the way out), and seeing Paul Newman turn in a great
performance. It was the first time I've seen him act like an elderly
gentleman, and he reminded me so much of my grandfather it amazed me.
Movie interview bonus: We got to hear some hilarious
movie info: the film location was originally planned for a small island
off the Maryland coast. The community supported it until they read the
screenplay and refused it on moral grounds (3 weeks before shooting was to
begin AND the crew had already built some pre-production sets). The city
council even went so far as to put little yellow sticky notes in the
screenplay wherever beer or wine was mentioned, and they hated the sex
scene. If you see this film, you'll realize how short-sighted these folks
were, as most grandmothers would approve of the picture. I think anyone
will agree this movie isn't an attack on the "moral fiber of this
(previewed February 1 1999, released February 12 1999)
I was assuming I'd be seeing the standard coming of age film, but
it turned out to be a whole lot more. It's about a 17 year old guy growing
up in a coal mining town that becomes fascinated with rocketry after
seeing Sputnik streak across the night sky. It's an
underdog-overcomes-it-all story with plenty of schmaltz thrown in, but for
some reason I got totally sucked in, crying more than I have in years.
It's a well written emotional rollercoaster too, and has characters
everyone can identify with. It should be a big hit when it comes out, it's great storytelling.
Movie interview bonus: The crew had trouble coming up
with a title for this film. They tried some test screenings using the
title of the book that this is based on (Rocket
Boys), but the audiences ended up being almost all male, so they
After racking their brains for weeks, the director got an anagram
creating program for his computer and plugged in "Rocket Boys."
The only words that can come out of those letters are "October
Sky," and that's the title they stuck with. The director also talked
about how he got started in the biz, being a special effects guy with
George Lucas, working on the Star Wars movies.
(previewed January 27 1999, released February 19 1999)
is Spinal Tap meets The
Full Monty, a hilarious look at a 70's rock band reuniting to cash in
on the nostalgia trend. Stephen Rea plays a former rock star trying to get
his old band back together after being recognized by a fan. We find out
that everyone's lives are pretty much shit after their careers finished,
and they readily agree to regroup. After some rehearsing, they start
playing small show and eventually work up to a 70's festival tour. It's a
great combination of comedy and more touching moments. The lead singer,
played by Bill Nighy, was amazing, he deserves to get a supporting actor
Movie interview bonus: The writers based the band's
characters on a variety of members from the Who, Rolling Stones, and
Fleetwood Mac. Although Bill Nighy does a great job, he wasn't the first
choice as the lead singer. Origianlly, they auditioned and almost chose
the former lead singer from Whitesnake,
David Coverdale (probably would have made the movie more like Spinal Tap).
In order for the actors to look like rock stars on stage, they hired the
old lead singer from Spandau
Ballet to be the consultant. He apparently taught the guys how to hold
guitars and microphones as well as dance on stage.
(previewed January 20 1999, released January 22 1999)
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