Apollo 13 emerged from the field as an early Oscar contender. This was a thrilling combination of old-fashioned, real life virtues and high tech brilliance. Yeah, things got slow and sentimental every time director Ron Howard cut to the endangered astronauts' worried families, but hey -- nothing's perfect. An excellent ensemble cast, with a special nod to Ed Harris as the vest-wearing NASA mission control chief. Let's hear it for American ingenuity, grace under pressure and people who used their heads to solve problems!
Batman Forever cemented Jim Carrey as the multi-million dollar man. Whenever his green-clad Joker jumped onto the screen, this heavy-handed movie got all jazzed up. Val Kilmer was a stiff as the new Batman, even if his revamped Batsuit was kinda cute. A nod to Chris O'Donnell as a Generation X Robin. Nicole Kidman looked suitably slinky as a slightly twisted shrink, but was wasted in terms of acting opportunities (wait 'til you see her in Gus Van Sant's new black comedy To Die For, though). All and all, I stumbled out of this film feeling as though I'd been stuck inside a very noisy video game for two hours.
Braveheart was a bloody and occasionally brilliant surprise. The second hero-in-kilts film of the summer, this was an epic enterprise from director-star, Mel Gibson. In addition to looking swell in blue face paint, Gibson stages one hell of a battle!! Like some, I was a tad disturbed by the gay-bashing subtext of several scenes. Overall, however, this was a riveting flick that truly filled the screen.(1.795M QT movie)
Die Hard With A Vengeance: Stay dead, already. The thrill is gone, Bruce. Go on to other things.
Sylvester Stallone might want to get some career counseling after Judge Dredd. It was dreadful. Felonious filmmaking. If you're looking for a "lousy movie" double feature, consider pairing this up with Tank Girl, another major misfire. (At least the makers of Judge Dredd didn't delude themselves, they were going to start a major fashion trend.)
Mortal Kombat: Put me in the "I don't get it" category as far as this flick goes. I do admit to getting an adrenaline rush in a few fight scenes and I further confess to wanting to go home and KILL-KILL-KILL things via my video game system...but really. This was an F/X overload.
Under Seige 2: A so-so effort from Steven Segal. Lots better than On Deadly Ground (but then, almost anything would be). But nowhere near as good as the original.
Waterworld: Not a total tank job. Some of the action sequences were sensational and the production values were quite amazing. But the script?? Glub-glub. And Kevin Costner with gills??? You want a post-apocalypse survival movie, see The Road Warrior. You want a great watery adventure, see Jaws.
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