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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

18 Again! (1988)

Grandfather and grandson swap personalities, and reverse the digits in their ages, after plowing the Rolls into a storefront. The old man's body remains laid up at the hospital, while his soul does handsprings inside a college freshman: this arrangement allows George Burns to fire off some interior-monologue wisecracks without ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

1900 (1977)

Bernardo Bertolucci combines a pamphleteer's penchant for straight, party-line ideology and a best-selling novelist's flair for wanton sensation: heaps of flesh, blood, and excrement (of both the literal and figurative sort). In its breadth, if not in its detail, this maxi-budgeted extravaganza could loosely be termed "novelistic." But just whose ... (NC-17)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

1941 (1979)

The sighting of a stray Japanese submarine off the California coast ignites a slapstick panic which might more revealingly have been titled The Japs Are Coming, The Japs Are Coming. Steven Spielberg must have figured that if Stanley Kramer could resuscitate slapstick comedy (cf. It'a a Mad, Mad [etc.] World), ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

1969 (1988)

Exciting year, excruciating movie. Ernest (On Golden Scum) Thompson, directing for the first time in addition to writing, makes a characteristically shallow belly-flop onto deep thematic waters: Vietnam, the generation gap, long hair, LSD — that whole package. The finale — a funeral party turned protest march — is guaranteed ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

1984 (1984)

George Orwell's vision of the future did not come true by the appointed time, but certainly became a cliché: Newspeak, Thought Crime, Big Brother — who looks here in his still photos (all we ever see of him) a bit like Lionel Atwill. The thought to do a new, commemorative ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Much of its reputation comes from exposing the masses to special effects that had been done much more excitingly, not to mention economically, in experimental shorts. Only where money really counts -- the finicky construction of model spaceships -- does it move into new territory. Kubrick's paranoid spoofs on modern ... (G)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2001: A Space Odyssey - The IMAX Experience (1968)

Much of its reputation comes from exposing the masses to special effects that had been done much more excitingly, not to mention economically, in experimental shorts. Only where money really counts -- the finicky construction of model spaceships -- does it move into new territory. Kubrick's paranoid spoofs on modern ... (G)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2001 in 70mm (1968)

Much of its reputation comes from exposing the masses to special effects that had been done much more excitingly, not to mention economically, in experimental shorts. Only where money really counts -- the finicky construction of model spaceships -- does it move into new territory. Kubrick's paranoid spoofs on modern ... (G)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

200 Cigarettes (1999)

Upwards of a dozen New Yorkers in destiny's dance on New Year's Eve, 1981. Flatly written comedy, and broadly acted in compensation. Wall-to-wall oldies. (It's an MTV Films co-production.) With Ben Affleck, Dave Chappelle, Janeane Garofalo, Kate Hudson, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, Paul Rudd; written by ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

200 Motels (1971)

The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel, and Ringo Starr in a video-taped rock fantasy. It looks a lot like a television variety show, with a flat, oddly colored image, and with studio sets and skits and musical numbers, but it is several lengths raunchier, and longer, than Dean Martin's weekly. (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2010 (1984)

How strange that Peter Hyams would be entrusted to do (write, produce, direct) the sequel to 2001. Admirers of the Kubrick movie cannot have taken heart in the reflection that Hyams had always seemed happiest in his movies when someone was chasing someone, and at top speed, too. And in ... (PG)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2012 (2009)

Roland Emmerich's widest view of disaster to date: the sky-high eruption of Yellowstone (Old Faithful gone Vesuvius), the toppling of the Washington Monument and St. Peter's Basilica (the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower would be so old-hat), the block-by-block collapse of Los Angeles (a rented limo outrunning the ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2046 (2005)

After the concentrated perfection of "The Hand" -- Wong Kar-wai's fraction of the anthology film, Eros -- the defects of this one are apt to appear the more glaring. Ostensibly it's a sequel to his close-to-perfection In the Mood for Love. Or anyhow the action picks up shortly after it ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

20 Dates (1999)

Low-budget "mockumentary" wherein an abrasive, facetious, blabbering would-be filmmaker by the name of Myles Berkowitz hits upon the idea of finally getting a film made by simply filming himself (or rather, videotaping himself) on a series of dates with women. And maybe as a bonus, falling in love. (Either that, ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

21 (2008)

Takeoff from a true story, presumably far, far off, about a team of MIT math whizzes who, drilled by a Mephistophelean mentor on the faculty, visit Vegas on weekends to beat the house at blackjack. The film is not able to make the frowned-upon practice of “card counting” comprehensible, much ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd