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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

Beloved (1998)

A pet project of star and co-producer (and otherwise TV talk-show queen) Oprah Winfrey, an adaptation of the Toni Morrison novel concerning a tangibly "haunted" black family in postbellum Ohio. The adjustment of former slaves to an unaccustomed state of freedom is untrampled territory in movies, and this one opens ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Big Hit (1998)

Would-be big hoot. A loud, obnoxious, sophomoric action spoof cum black comedy about a Maalox-gulping hitman (Mark Wahlberg) who has a deep psychological need for everyone to like him. Lou Diamond Phillips, as his disloyal confederate, manages to work himself up into a rabid lather, but it's a waste of ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Big Lebowski (1998)

There are actually two Lebowskis, a big one and a little one, a multimillionaire philanthropist and a lazy, laid-back bowler, both christened Jeffrey; and when the latter — who prefers to be addressed as "the Dude" — is mistaken for the other by a pair of dim-bulb thugs, he is ... (R)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998)

A Tommy O'Haver Trifle, truthfully self-described. Good-looking, colorful, bright romantic comedy about the lust of a homosexual photographer for his newly discovered straight model -- Pygaylion, if you will, and his Gaylatea. The gas runs out before the end, even with long stretches of low-speed coasting. Sean P. Hayes, a ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Black Cat, White Cat (1998)

Emir Kusturica's dense, distended farce centered around Balkan gypsies, a train robbery, and a barnyard's population of geese, chicks, pigs, dogs, besides the titular felines. Lighter than Kusturica's Underground, but indigestible in proportion, nevertheless. Impressive, a little, in its consistent texture and tone. (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Black Dog (1998)

A load of illegal firearms on the Georgia-to-Jersey truck route: big rigs, big wrecks, big yawns. With Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis, Charles Dutton, and Meat Loaf; directed by Kevin Hooks. (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Blade (1998)

The black-leather, kung-fu, one-man-army vampire-hunter out of Marvel Comics, outfitted with special guns, knives, needles, and samurai sword which Van Helsing knew nothing about. ("Crosses," explains the hero's personal weapons-maker, "don't do squat.") Wesley Snipes practically boogies his way through the action scenes; and the disintegrating bodies, exploding heads, etc., ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

A for-want-of-anything-better-to-do movie. It at least serves as a reminder that John Landis made a good one once. Eighteen years earlier. His lack of inspiration here extends to the clodhopping parade of face shots, the paraphrasing and plagiarizing of the original, the employment of the Russian mafia as straw badmen, ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Borrowers (1998)

Brick-thick chunk of whimsy, from the children's books of Mary Norton, about a species of wee folk known as Borrowers, one family of whom infests the house of the Lenders in a rose-hued, time-warped fantasyland. The Lilliputians and Brobdingnagians coexist well enough in the same space until they are required ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Buffalo '66 (1998)

An emotionally imprisoned ex-con, who took a phony fall to square his account with a bookie, now wants to even the score with the Buffalo Bills placekicker, Scott Wood, who missed the Super Bowl-winning field goal. (The real-life former Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, could not be altogether pleased with this ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

A Bug's Life (1998)

Disney's second computer-animated feature, following Toy Story, and somewhat embarrassingly released two months after Antz, from arch-rival DreamWorks. There can be no question of outright copycattery. The movies were too close to neck-and-neck for that. But the mere coincidence of two computer-animated features set in an ant colony and centered ... (G)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bulworth (1998)

Comedy without laughs. "Satire" might be the optimistically preferred word of the director, co-writer, and star, Warren Beatty, and he might want to add, for commercial as well as critical purposes, the immediate qualifier of "Capra-esque." (The presence of the name Frank Capra III in both the opening and the ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Celebration (1998)

Ghastly-looking Danish film (or video blown up into film), flattened, faded, blurred, jostled, jumbled. It's difficult, through all the optical distractions, to take a lot of interest in the foofaraw at a family gathering in the country. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Celebrity (1998)

Negligible Woody Allen effort. The fact that Allen the actor is nowhere in the cast is no doubt part of the problem, but chiefly because his substitute, Kenneth Branagh, is a problem unto himself. (The Purple Rose of Cairo managed to become one of Allen's best films without his on-screen ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Central Station (1998)

Warmly photographed, slushy road movie revolving around a motherless urchin who gets under the skin, onto the conscience, and into the heart of a dishonest stranger, together setting out in search of the boy's unknown father. The Brazilian locales add some grit. But not enough. With Fernanda Montenegro and Vinicius ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd