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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

10 (1979)

A comedy of male menopause. The hero, a Hollywood songwriter with personalized license plates that read "ASCAP," is explicitly a product of an earlier, more romantic era, and is quite nakedly a stand-in for writer-director Blake Edwards. Edwards's conscientious efforts to adopt liberal, open-minded, up-to-date attitudes lead him onto some ... (R)

2.0 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

Agatha (1979)

In 1926 mystery writer Agatha Christie mysteriously vanished for eleven days from a health spa in England. Wouldn't it have been nice if the reason for this had been worthy of elucidation by Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple? Wouldn't it have been nice, were someone going to go ahead and ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alien (1979)

This creature-feature has, and is, a good time, but it works very hard and spends a lot of money in order to have it. The question is, is it worth it? This question comes up not only because this movie seems much too heavily endowed for the simple, 1950s-style monster ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alien Day (1979)

Everyone's favorite movie metaphor for stomach cancer returns to theatres for one night only. (R)

None stars

Alien: The Director's Cut (1979)

This creature-feature has, and is, a good time, but it works very hard and spends a lot of money in order to have it. The question is, is it worth it? This question comes up not only because this movie seems much too heavily endowed for the simple, 1950s-style monster ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All That Jazz (1979)

A sort of 42nd Street with aspirations to Lincoln Center, following the blue-ribbon casserole recipe of Fellini's 8 1/2, of intermingled reality, fantasy, and memory. The changes wrought on the backstage-musical formula by these uptown ambitions are of dubious import: a dizzying, quicker-than-the-eye editing style, a blunt closeup of semen-wetted ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Completely credulous (not to say credible) haunted house thriller, based on a documented case. The spacious Long Island house -- an attractive object which favors the side, or profile, view -- seems to affect devout Catholics (a priest and a nun have to vomit after merely breathing its air) more ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

...And Justice for All (1979)

This case against the American legal system is so ill-prepared and ill-presented that it ought never have been brought to court. Add to that the whimpering liberal piety of Al Pacino and the aggressive ugliness of the image, and you have sufficient cause to slap it with a contempt citation. ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The biggest asset of Francis Ford Coppola's thirty-million-dollar Vietnam War movie is the curiosity it stirred up while keeping the public cooling its heels for four years. Without that, there would be little to propel the viewer through this desultory up-river excursion, unimaginatively patterned after Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Apocalypse Now Final Cut (1979)

The biggest asset of Francis Ford Coppola's thirty-million-dollar Vietnam War movie is the curiosity it stirred up while keeping the public cooling its heels for four years. Without that, there would be little to propel the viewer through this desultory up-river excursion, unimaginatively patterned after Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Apocalypse Now Final Cut: The IMAX 2D Experience (1979)

The biggest asset of Francis Ford Coppola's thirty-million-dollar Vietnam War movie is the curiosity it stirred up while keeping the public cooling its heels for four years. Without that, there would be little to propel the viewer through this desultory up-river excursion, unimaginatively patterned after Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Beats (1979)

Odd and unsatisfying selection of old material and new, nosing around the subject of the Beat phenomenon, but not pinning it down either as to period or locale, to the Beat people's situation then or now, in one place or another. Because the method is evocation rather than explication, it ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Being There (1979)

Jerzy Kosinski's adaptation of his own novel about a retarded gardener named Chance, whose only acquaintance with the world beyond his garden has been through his constant exposure to TV, and who is suddenly turned out into that world when his benevolent employer passes on. There would seem to be ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Black Hole (1979)

Must be without competition the shortest twenty-million-dollar movie ever made (clocked at well under ninety minutes, minus the credits), which is but one crude measure of how much more money than imagination went into this scandalously derivative and down-at-the-heels sci-fi epic. The bulk of its debt is payable to Star ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd