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1998 Stories by Peter Rainer

Archives: 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Fatal Detraction

    published October 15, 1998

    Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita still has the power to scare off people. Proof is the book's new movie adaptation, directed by Adrian Lyne and scripted... More >>

  • Mission: Unfilmable

    published October 15, 1998

    The Jonathan Demme-directed Beloved runs nearly three hours, and it's a long slog. This adaptation of the 1987 Toni Morrison novel bursts with... More >>

  • Screen Tests

    published October 8, 1998

    The Montreal World Film Festival ran for 10 days through Labor Day, and the Toronto Film Festival picked up a few days later and carried on for... More >>

  • Workers' Compensation

    published October 1, 1998

    The ants in Antz show a lot of personality. The film is the best example yet of how a fully animated computer-generated feature can delineate... More >>

  • Her Mother's Keeper

    published September 17, 1998

    One True Thing, directed by Carl Franklin, is trying to be the Terms of Endearment of the Nineties. Scripted by Karen Croner from the 1995 Anna... More >>

  • Kvetch 90210

    published August 27, 1998

    Slums of Beverly Hills is the first feature by the young writer-director Tamara Jenkins, and it has its mild amusements. One of those movies that... More >>

  • Boxing De Palma

    published August 6, 1998

    Nicolas Cage has never seemed more dazzling than he does in the new Brian De Palma thriller Snake Eyes. Playing Rick Santoro, a corrupt Atlantic... More >>

  • Deal Me Out

    published July 30, 1998

    Do we really need to see the great Kevin Spacey fuming and fussing in one of those we-do-things-my-way-or-we-don't-do-them-at-all roles? In The... More >>

  • Courage Under Fire

    published July 23, 1998

    The first shot in Steven Spielberg's remarkable World War II epic Saving Private Ryan is an American flag with the sun behind it. It's a delicate,... More >>

  • Z Monkey

    published July 16, 1998

    In The Mask of Zorro, Anthony Hopkins plays the eponymous masked hero as if he were doing Shakespeare. He's trying to turn a kitsch hero into a... More >>

  • Through a Lens Darkly

    published July 9, 1998

    High Art is a low-budget American independent movie about a junkie, lesbian photographer, Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy), who spends most of her time... More >>

  • Disasteroid

    published July 2, 1998

    Michael Bay is the director of Bad Boys and The Rock and the new asteroid-attack movie Armageddon--which should be called The Very Big Rock. He... More >>

  • Afterthought Special

    published June 25, 1998

    The 1967 musical Dr. Dolittle, which starred Rex Harrison, was a commercial disaster for its studio, Twentieth Century Fox. The new nonmusical Fox... More >>

  • The Network Guy

    published June 4, 1998

    The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, is the Zeitgeist movie of the hour. How could it not be? It's all about the omnipotence of television and... More >>

  • Size and Whimpers

    published May 28, 1998

    The "Size Does Matter" marketing campaign for Godzilla is far more ingenious than the movie. It's also highly annoying--and somewhat misleading.... More >>

  • 'hood Wink

    published May 21, 1998

    It's the tail end of the 1996 California primary election, and incumbent Democratic Senator Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty) is having a nervous... More >>

  • A Sad Cometary

    published May 7, 1998

    Most disaster movies would be a lot better with more disaster and less "human drama." In Deep Impact, the impending obliteration of much of the... More >>

  • Latest plunge into Les Miserables treads familiar waters

    published April 30, 1998

    Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Miserables, which he began in 1845, runs in most editions to around 1,500 pages. The latest film version--there have... More >>

  • Scent of a Womanizer

    published April 23, 1998

    In writer-director James Toback's quicksilver sex comedy Two Girls and a Guy, Robert Downey Jr. plays Blake Allen, a struggling New York actor who... More >>

  • Slack in the Saddle

    published March 26, 1998

    Probably every film director itches to make a Western, so let's be thankful that, with The Newton Boys, Richard Linklater has scratched his itch.... More >>

  • Counterfeit Bill

    published March 19, 1998

    If ever there was an Op-Ed movie--a movie destined to be written about in an "elevated" realm beyond just the movie pages--it's Primary Colors.... More >>

  • Dusk Busters

    published March 5, 1998

    A movie starring Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, James Garner and Stockard Channing ought to be a whole lot better than Robert Benton's... More >>

  • Sucker Punch

    published February 19, 1998

    Palmetto is a film noir set in a torpid seaside Florida town. It's based on the James Hadley Chase novel Just Another Sucker, and when we first... More >>

  • Little Dickens

    published January 29, 1998

    In the new Great Expectations, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and scripted by Mitch Glazer, the teeming world of Charles Dickens' 1861 novel is very... More >>

  • Serene Streets

    published January 15, 1998

    Martin Scorsese's Kundun is a deeply ceremonial experience, a serene pageant of colors, rituals, costumes. It's about the Dalai Lama--recognized... More >>

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