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1997 Stories by Michael Sragow

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Tums of Endearment

    published December 25, 1997

    The ad line for As Good As It Gets is "a comedy from the heart that goes for the throat." Isn't this simply another way of saying, "You'll laugh,... More >>

  • Cause and FX

    published December 4, 1997

    George Lucas ignited the modern cinematic special-effects explosion with his Star Wars movies; his trailblazing Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in... More >>

  • Curious Georgia

    published November 27, 1997

    In John Berendt's beguiling travel-cum-true-crime book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the people of Savannah, Georgia, (in Berendt's... More >>

  • Open Bar

    published November 20, 1997

    John Grisham's The Rainmaker lulls you into the mindset you get while reading a best seller at the beach. What a sad thing to say about a Francis... More >>

  • For Love or Money

    published November 13, 1997

    Put brutally, the marvelous The Wings of the Dove is the story of a romantic frame-up that backfires. Thankfully, nothing is put brutally in this... More >>

  • Getting Even

    published November 6, 1997

    Mad City, a descendant of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, may irritate orthodox movie buffs. In the Wilder classic, Kirk Douglas' supremely... More >>

  • Chinese Watcher Torture

    published October 30, 1997

    Despite Red Corner's muckraking pretensions, it is a rickety throwback to escapist adventures that featured beautiful foreign idealists spouting... More >>

  • Send Out the Clowns

    published September 4, 1997

    When Time magazine columnist Walter Shapiro referred to himself last month as part of a generation that still believes "A Thousand Clowns holds... More >>

  • Bug Tussle

    published August 21, 1997

    When the beautiful entomologist rips open the chest cavity of a huge, bloodthirsty insect in the sci-fi nightmare Mimic, it turns into Thoraxic... More >>

  • Midnight Caballero

    published August 14, 1997

    In the not-so-brave new world of independent filmmaking, low-budget movies premiere at Sundance or Cannes and win plaudits from overpsyched... More >>

  • Crack Plot

    published August 7, 1997

    Jerry Fletcher, the hero of Conspiracy Theory, is a comic, glamorous variation on Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Like Travis, he's a New York cabby... More >>

  • The Widow's Friend

    published August 7, 1997

    Mrs. Brown (a Cannes hit and Miramax release) is dignified to the dead max--brownish-gray in mood and look and spirit. It's based on the true... More >>

  • Bee Minus

    published June 26, 1997

    To get into a good-lovin' mood before each date, a college housemate of mine croaked along to Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" while blasting it... More >>

  • On Golden Wand

    published June 12, 1997

    In a season of lumbering, big-screen circuses, Rough Magic provides a rowdy, creative side show. It's the kind of haywire high-wire act that... More >>

  • Lust for Lifeless

    published May 15, 1997

    On the festival tour that helped the necrophiliac Kissed net prerelease praise everywhere from the Atlantic Monthly to Newsweek, writer-director... More >>

  • Three and a Half Hours Under the Sea

    published April 17, 1997

    Das Boot, the 1981 German nautical spectacular, is now being rereleased as an extended three-and-a-half-hour director's cut. With an hour of new... More >>

  • Junior Mince

    published April 3, 1997

    Film actors are generally said to have good chemistry or no chemistry. But bad chemistry in movies does exist, and a sleep-inducer called... More >>

  • Auto Eroticism

    published March 20, 1997

    Cult auteur David Cronenberg crashes and burns--his talent, that is--in Crash, a vain attempt at a techno-age Persona. It follows a demented... More >>

  • Life, in Stereo

    published March 20, 1997

    I spent the 68th anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre watching The Godfather with the new soundtrack prepared for its 25th... More >>

  • Ewok Don't Run

    published March 13, 1997

    In the last chapter of this Star Wars trilogy, an intergalactic window display of creepy and cuddly critters upstages the human characters. All... More >>

  • Darth Victory

    published February 20, 1997

    Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, the continuation of George Lucas' Star Wars, is a classic fantasy in its own right. I vastly prefer it... More >>

  • Irony-Poor Blood

    published February 13, 1997

    Elmore Leonard's Touch is identified on the paperback as a mystery and carried in stores next to Leonard's celebrated crime novels (like Get... More >>

  • Isn't That Spacial?

    published February 6, 1997

    At a 20-year remove, George Lucas' Star Wars comes off less as the work of a wizard than as the weird obsessional by-product of an eccentric... More >>

  • Remembrances of Things Pastoral

    published January 16, 1997

    For people who grow up loving movies, returning to old favorites can be as jarring and illuminating as blowing the dust off a family photo album.... More >>

  • Home, James

    published January 16, 1997

    When an incredulous Jane Campion fan asked what I hated about her version of Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady, I immediately responded,... More >>

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