Weekly Wire
Film + TV
Setting Sail - Debbie Allen brings "Amistad" to the screen -- with help from Tulane University and the world's most famous director. [2]
Dion M. Harris

Death at the Box Office
From 1931's "The Front Page" to 1995's "Dead Man Walking," Hollywood has treated capital punishment as a bloody circus manipulated and exploited by hypocrites in the government and the media. [3]
Peter Keough

Full Reviews
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Resurrection Anxiety
Replication is certainly cause for fear in the latest "Alien." [4]
Stacey Richter

Movie Guru
Zak Weisfeld slimes "Alien: Resurrection." [5]
Zak Weisfeld

Surrender, Earthling!
Ripley is back and badder than ever. But where is the love? [6]
Devin D. O'Leary

Alien Autopsy
"Alien: Resurrection" was better off dead; "Flubber" doesn't bounce. [7]
Jim Ridley

Power of Attorney
"The Rainmaker" is a well-made movie that does Grisham justice; "Alien Resurrection," the fourth in a series, does what sequels do. [8]
Debbie Gilbert and Mark Jordan

Affection of Alienation
In the powerful documentary "Sick," Kirby Dick probes the limits of intimacy. [9]
Ray Pride

Inner Turmoil
Review of "Wings of the Dove." [10]
Mary Dickson

Sui Generis
Reviews of "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control" and "One Night Stand." [11]
Rick Barton

Film Tip of the Week
This week's must-see flick: "Pretty Village, Pretty Flame." [12]
Ray Pride

Video + TV
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Mindbending video reviews from our VCR couch critic. [17]
Scott Phillips

Real Enough
Reviews of "All Over Me," "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," "Creature Comforts," "Switchblade Sisters," and more... [18]
Rob Nelson, Noel Murray, and Jim Ridley

The world of Ewan McGregor: reviews of "Trainspotting," "Shallow Grave," and "Emma." [19]
Adrienne Martini

Videos a Go-Go
Every week, we explore a movie genre for your enhanced rent 'n' view pleasure. This week: Asian movies. [20]
Matthew Everett

TV Eye
Hooked on "Ally McBeal." [21]
Margaret Moser

Volume I, Issue 27
December 8 - December 15, 1997

C an Spielberg do it? Can he repeat his success from 1993? That was the year he dominated with both the money-making "Jurassic Park" and the Oscar-winning "Schindler's List." Okay, so his "Lost World" sequel was a dud -- Spielberg's still quite the stud. Will his "Amistad" be this year's big Oscar-winner, or will something like Martin Scorsese's "Kundun" sneak in and steal the glory? Or maybe there's a hot little independent film waiting to pull the rug out from under both of them? Oooh, the excitement. I can't stand it.

If you feel as I do, check out this article, which details the socially redeeming qualities of "Amistad." And while we're on the subject of social-issue movies, here's a fine, fine piece about Capital Punishment pics. It's nice to see Robert Wise's "I Want to Live!," which featured Susan Hayward in an Oscar-winning performance, receive acknowledgement alongside Tim Robbins's inferior (but also Oscar-winning) "Dead Man Walking." (Magical term for the day: "Oscar-winning.") Strange, the article doesn't mention Sharon Stone's death-row performance in "Last Dance." I wonder why?

Speaking of social relevance, we've got five reviews of "Alien: Resurrection" this week. I know what you're thinking: "Say, Film Bum, how in the galaxy is 'Alien' socially relevant?" Well, let me tell you. You probably think "Alien" is a scares, special effects, and slime extravaganza....but it's so much more. Motherhood, identity, cloning, death -- all sorts of issues are hidden in the film's mucusy subtext. You just need to know how to deconstruct the picture using the proper semiotic code, that's all. And if that window-sucking ending isn't meant to symbolize abortion, I'm a figure-skating llama. Forget Bergman, Cocteau, Fassbinder and Bresson, because "Alien" is the deepest cinema in the history of the photographic process. To be "Oscar-winning" wouldn't even do it justice.

Tongue sticking out of cheek like a freshly hatched alien baby,

Behind the Scenes
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Reel World
Film news from behind the scenes. [16]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mini Reviews
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Boston Phoenix

  • Lilies
  • Mon homme
  • Woman in the Dunes

Austin Chronicle

  • Eye Of God
  • Happy Together
  • Lilies
  • M
  • Mon Homme

Tucson Weekly

  • Flubber
  • Kiss or Kill

From The Vaults

The Film Vault Curious about a particular director's work? Not sure what to rent at the video store? Enjoy reading several contrasting opinions of the same film? This is the place for you. One of the all-time best film-review resources on the Web. Sort alphabetically or by publication, genre, director, or date. Check it out!

Now What?
What's the matter, couldn't find a review of that blockbuster film you're excited about? We certainly don't want to leave you disappointed -- why not try some of these larger-than-life movie links? [22]

Build your own custom paper. To find out more about this feature, click here.

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