Daily Archives: July 11, 2019

Kiss Me Kate

From the Chicago Reader (July 22, 1990). — J.R.

One of the classiest and most experimental 3-D efforts from Hollywood — as well as one of the best MGM musicals of the 1950s that didn’t come from the Arthur Freed unit. Adapted by Dorothy Kingsley from the successful 1948 Cole Porter stage musical and directed by the underrated George Sidney, this 1953 feature does interesting things with mirrors, windows, and the relationship between stage and audience, playing on the differences between theatrical and film space and, paradoxically, exploiting 3-D as an artificial and antirealistic effect. Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel play an estranged couple who uneasily join forces in a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, with much comic confusion between life and art. The cast (including Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, Bob Fosse, and Carol Haney) and score are consistently pleasurable. 109 min. (JR)

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Artful Imitations

From the Chicago Reader (July 17, 1992). — J.R.

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER

** (Worth seeing)

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Written by Richard Rothstein, Christopher Leitch, and Dean Devlin

With Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker, Ed O’Ross, Jerry Orbach, Leon Rippy, Tico Wells, and Ralph Moeller.

UNLAWFUL ENTRY

** (Worth seeing)

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Written by Lewis Colick, George D. Putnam, and John Katchmer

With Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta, Madeleine Stowe, Roger E. Mosley, Ken Lerner, Deborah Offner, Carmen Argenziano, and Andy Romano.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

** (Worth seeing)

Directed by Penny Marshall

Written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel

With Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanagh, and Rosie O’Donnell.

PRELUDE TO A KISS

** (Worth seeing)

Directed by Norman Rene

Written by Craig Lucas

With Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, Sydney Walker, Ned Beatty, Patty Duke, Kathy Bates, and Richard Riehle.

Out of all the genres represented by this summer’s crop of movies, there are at least three that haven’t yet been officially recognized. There are sequels like Lethal Weapon 3 and Batman Returns whose true genres are not so much old-fashioned categories like police thriller and fantasy adventure as “this summer’s Lethal Weapon movie” and “this summer’s Batman movie.” Then there are strictly-by-the-book imitations like Universal Soldier and Unlawful Entry whose true genres are not so much science-fiction action adventure or romantic horror thriller as “this summer’s Terminator rip-off” and “this summer’s Fatal Attraction rip-off.” Finally, there are movies that, consciously or not, represent throwbacks to genres or cycles of other eras — specifically A League of Their Own, which resembles 40s musicals, and Prelude to a Kiss, which resembles supernatural comedies and dramas of the early 40s.… Read more »