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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

10 to Midnight (1983)

A lot of time is spent, and a lot of blood spilt, to set up a situation so simple-minded that we will approve of Charles Bronson throwing out the legal code: "I remember when legal meant lawful," he philosophizes. "Now it means some kind of loophole." Unlike the high-strung sex ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All the Right Moves (1983)

High-school coach and athlete both hope to use the Big Game as their ticket out of a small Pennsylvania steel town. The drama spun around this situation is modestly, even humbly, understated. (That the teen hero is a hard-nosed cornerback, not quarterback, and the coach is up for a job ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

And the Ship Sails On (1983)

Pre-First World War Ship of Fools, complete with that lazy storytelling device of a narrator-commentator speaking directly into the camera. With this, Federico Fellini advances himself as a serious candidate for that old drollery about so-and-so having forgotten more about making movies than most moviemakers will ever know. One thing ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Another Time, Another Place (1983)

Understated, even a bit muffled or muzzled, wartime drama about Italian POWs in Scotland, working in the fields alongside the natives and living next door to a comely and, by local lights, overhospitable farm wife. There are plenty of things to like here, such as the troll-faced wallflower's unaccompanied song ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Baby, It's You (1983)

John Sayles has done the inevitable and has upped his standards of professionalism. This accomplishes nothing so much as to make his movie look more ordinary -- less needy, in other words, of the critical charity that so benefited The Return of the Secaucus Seven and (less so) Lianna. The ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bad Boys (1983)

There is no irony in the title. The principal characters, an Irish-American kid and his sworn Hispanic enemy, are established very fast as very bad, and are soon enough gotten off the Chicago streets and into juvenile prison, one sooner than the other. This is a genre -- the prison ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

Shohei Imamura offers numerous grim vignettes of human misery and animality -- most especially the hair-raising burial-alive of a potato thief and his entire family, photographed in so lengthy a single-take that our thoughts about human misery eventually give way to wonderment and worry about what sort of provisions were ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Betrayal (1983)

A triangle tale related in reverse chronology, starting, that is, with the breakup of the pertinent marriage and working backwards nine years to the first extramarital embrace. The effect of this arrangement is to ensure that every step of the way we know more, and better, than the principal trio. ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Beyond the Limit (1983)

The cast of characters includes a whisky-sodden British diplomat, an ex-prostitute Indian wife, an ex-seminarian Paraguayan rebel, an apolitical, amoral doctor with allegiances to all of the above, an implacable South American policeman -- well, it's Graham Greene, you see. The Honorary Consul, to be precise. The abbreviated TV style ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Big Chill (1983)

Much the same premise as Mary McCarthy's (or Sidney Lumet's) The Group: a circle of political idealists in their college days are reunited years later for the first funeral within the circle. But it is treated more in the form of The Return of the Secaucus Seven, a long shapeless ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Black Stallion Returns (1983)

To his old Arabian home, that is, in a jerry-built plot wherein he is horsenapped by his original owners, escapes several attempts on his life by the evil Kurr of the Uruk tribe (a ludicrous performance by Allen Goorwitz), and, after falling his usual twenty lengths behind, wins the big ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Black Widow (1983)

The introductory tableaux, which show the foundling heroine snacking on communion wafers, peeking up the robe of a church statue, staging a mock burning-at-the-stake, lowering her panties in front of boys, and being chastised for all of these by monastic guardians, set the tone of the entire movie: a determined ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Blue Thunder (1983)

Lazily plotted paranoid thriller. The main instrument of paranoia is a crowd-control combat helicopter that can see and hear through solid walls. But the technology-crazy moviemakers can't hide their ambivalence about this. They seem to feel that such a Big Brother weapon is quite all right as long as it's ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Brainstorm (1983)

Science fiction of the Imaginary Invention type: a piece of headgear, in this instance, able to record and transmit subjective experience, memory, emotion, and it's not clear what all. Indeed, the movie is quite carelessly thought out in terms of what the device can record and particularly from what point ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Breathless (1983)

What Jim McBride has done with the Jean-Luc Godard original, whether by conscious choice or by native temperament, is to translate it back into the film noir idiom from which Godard first snatched it. It is a pretty straight Americanization, in other words, of what was a Frenchification of something ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd