Daily Archives: October 8, 1996

The Grass Harp

I haven’t read Truman Capote’s early autobiographical novel since my teens, and it’s possible that it was too cute for words in the first place, but this adaptation by Stirling Silliphant and Kirk Ellis, directed by Charles Matthau (son of Walter, who costars), must be even cuter. A lot of welcome if obvious care has been taken with period detail (a small southern town in the 40s), but the difference between this movie and Terence Davies’s The Neon Bible is the difference between plastic and crystal. Despite an impressive castEdward Furlong, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Nell Carter, Roddy McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, Charles Durning, and Joe Don Baker, and Jack Lemmon in a fancy turneveryone is encouraged either to overact or to resemble a stuffed animal, and the music is as drippy as molasses. (JR)… Read more »

Ed’s Next Move

A charming lightweight comedy, about a young scientist from Wisconsin (Matt Ross) who gets a job as a rice geneticist in New York after being dumped by his girlfriend; he moves in with a ladies’ man (Kevin Carroll) in the East Village, where he begins to pursue a musician (Callie Thorne). This first feature by writer-director John Walsh is helped in no small measure by Benny Golson’s jazz score. (JR)… Read more »

The Long Kiss Goodnight

Geena Davis and her director-husband Renny Harlin crawled out from under the rubble of Cutthroat Island, which at the time was reported to be the costliest flop in Hollywood history, to make an even nastier action thriller, about a housewife with amnesia who discovers she’s actually a trained government assassin (and apparently takes her orders directly from La femme Nikita). Frankly, if I had to see either Harlin-Davis movie again, I’d opt for the klutzy unpleasantness of Cutthroat Island over the efficient if equally stupid unpleasantness of this 1996 release, with its protracted torture sequences and its overall celebration of pain and injury (You’re gonna die screaming, and I’m gonna watch). Still, if you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Geena Davis say Suck my dick, New Line probably deserves your money. Shane Black is the credited writer, and Samuel L. Jackson costars; with Yvonne Zima and Craig Bierko. 120 min. (JR)… Read more »