Daily Archives: November 7, 1995

The American President

Michael Douglas plays the president of the United States, who has dating problems (1995). A comedy directed by Rob Reiner from a script by Aaron Sorkin, who also scripted Reiner’s A Few Good Men; this time the laughs are intentional. Working some of the same territory as 1993′s Dave, with an obvious desire to emulate Cukor’s Tracy and Hepburn comedies as well (as signaled in one flash clip), this is a pleasant, inoffensive, and (quite properly) mindless diversion. With Annette Bening as the dating interest, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Anna Deavere Smith, Samantha Mathis, and Richard Dreyfuss (1995). (JR)… Read more »

Nick Of Time

Unfolding in real time, from the moment a CPA (Johnny Depp) arrives at Los Angeles Union Station with his little girl to the moment 90 minutes or so later when a political assassination is supposed to occur in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel a few blocks away (the same hotel, if memory serves, that provided the climax for In the Line of Fire), this crackerjack paranoid thriller (1995) is a skillful example of what Hollywood used to do so well in the 40s and 50s, in sleepers like The Window and Don’t Bother to Knock. Working with a script by Patrick Sheane Duncan and Ebbe Roe Smith, producer-director John Badham, in his best film since Saturday Night Fever, does an able job of moving around his actors (including Christopher Walken, Charles S. Dutton, Peter Strauss, Roma Maffia, Gloria Reuben, and Marsha Mason). Despite a few lapses in judgment, this is a well-crafted exerciseand one, incidentally, that packs a pointed if unobtrusive punch about how both gubernatorial campaigns and fancy hotels are run. For my money, this is more fun than Speedit keeps you in suspense without insulting your intelligence. Depp makes a likably offbeat action hero. (JR)… Read more »