Daily Archives: November 26, 1993

Unbelievable

From the Chicago Reader (November 26, 1993). — J.R.

DEMOLITION MAN

* (Has redeeming facet)

Directed by Marco Brambilla

Written by Daniel Waters, Robert Reneau, and Peter M. Lenkov

With Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, and Nigel Hawthorne.

FEARLESS

* (Has redeeming facet)

Directed by Peter Weir

Written by Rafael Yglesias

With Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez, Tom Hulce, and John Turturro.

MY LIFE

** (Worth seeing)

Directed and written by Bruce Joel Rubin

With Michael Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Bradley Whitford, Queen Latifah, Michael Constantine, and Haing S. Ngor.

With the steady rise of committee moviemaking and the steady shrinking of attention spans thanks to TV, suspension of disbelief and densely imagined fictional worlds are becoming scarce commodities in pop movies. A relative triumph of style and blackout wit like Addams Family Values reflects this loss just as much as an airhead, cyberdolt, kick-ass romp like Demolition Man. In both films a character’s behavior or personality — and sometimes even the physical terrain — can change radically from one scene to the next, and no one in the audience is expected to notice or even care.

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The only thing that seems to be important is that the scene (or moment) score.… Read more »

Barjo

This decidedly offbeat 1992 French comedy-drama–Confessions d’un barjo in French–from Jerome Boivin (Baxter) is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Confessions of a Crap-Artist, set in contemporary provincial France rather than 50s California but otherwise reportedly fairly close to the original. The central characters are an unconventional pair of fraternal twins who maintain an unusually close bond into adulthood–a sort of dysfunctional holy fool (Hippolyte Giradot) who serves as narrator and his impetuous sister (Cyrano de Bergerac’s Anne Brochet). The sister marries a fairly conventional aluminum salesman (Diva’s Richard Bohringer), and their life together starts to go haywire after she becomes obsessed with another local couple. Expect the unexpected in the interaction of these five characters, and count on some effective performances along the way. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, November 26, 6:00 and 7:45, and Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, November 27 and 28 and December 2, 6:00, 443-3737.… Read more »

Addams Family Values

This sequel starts off with the same sort of hard-sell blackout gags as its predecessor, most of them built around the premise of Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) having another baby. But once Joan Cusack enters the picture as a nanny-cum-serial-killer/gold digger with her eye trained on Fester (Christopher Lloyd) things get livelier, and by the time the movie reaches its centerpiece–Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) being shipped off to summer camp–the comedy has moved into high gear and become one of the funniest, most mean-spirited satirical assaults on sunny American values since the salad days of W.C. Fields. Paul Rudnick wrote the script and Carol Kane costars as Granny. Burnham Plaza, Golf Glen, Lincoln Village, Water Tower, Ford City, Evanston, Hyde Park, Norridge, Webster Place.… Read more »