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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

42 Up (1998)

Michael Apted's sequel to 35 Up, 28 Up, and on down, at seven-year jumps, to 7 Up. American audiences did not get in on this fascinating project -- following the lives of a motley group of English schoolchildren -- until the fourth installment, 28 Up. That may have been the ... (NR)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

54 (1998)

An ill-timed release, mere months after Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Disco. Written and directed by a starry-eyed Mark Christopher, it purports to grant us entree to the "real" Studio 54, as against Stillman's fictional "composite," and it predictably and conventionally gravitates more toward the "inside" and the "top" ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Affliction (1998)

A legacy-of-abuse tragedy with heavy psychologizing and moralizing -- altogether as chilly as its upstate New Hampshire locale during deer-hunting season. It showcases ferociously fine work from Nick Nolte as the figurehead policeman of a sleepy small town, not unlike the Stallone character in Copland, who convinces himself that a ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

After Life (1998)

Japanese travellers to the Next World are detained in a nondescript institutional facility -- a mundane Purgatory -- where they must select one (and only one) memory from their lives to carry with them into eternity. A shaky premise (only one?) is shaken further by the prosaic documentary treatment: talking-heads ... (NR)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Alarmist (1998)

Dark comedy of home security, emotional insecurity, double-dealing, paranoia. Heavy-handedly directed (by Evan Dunsky) and broadly acted by the male leads (David Arquette, Stanley Tucci). With Kate Capshaw and Mary McCormack. (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alaska (1998)

Alaska is a very pretty place. Also, there are not a lot of people there. COINCIDENCE? (NR)

None stars

Almost Heroes (1998)

The posthumous swan song of comedian Chris Farley gives no cause for mourning. It is neither good enough nor bad enough for that. Without any question, it constitutes a serious comedown for Christopher Guest, the director of Waiting for Guffman, though perhaps we should remind ourselves that the "mockumentary" on ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American History X (1998)

Mawkish and sledgehammering cycle-of-violence lesson around a high-school skinhead (Edward Furlong) and the older brother (Edward Norton) who has been his idol and mentor and who now comes out of prison a changed man. In flashback, Norton is afforded a broad platform and a lot of rope, and he spins ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Antz (1998)

The second fully computer-animated feature, and a significant advance. The illusion of three-dimensionality, with finely sculpted and shaded bodies in cavernous and engulfing space, is quite remarkable. And the nuanced facial expressions, to say nothing of the perfect synchronization of mouth movement and spoken word, suggest an evolutionary leap that ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Apple (1998)

Iranian film that follows up, rather than re-enacts, the factual case of twin girls who were kept locked at home with their blind mother for twelve years, never let out, until the neighbors alerted the Welfare Department. Because the principals play themselves, the film never loses its air of documentary, ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Apt Pupil (1998)

A high-school senior with an unhealthy interest in the Holocaust recognizes a fellow bus rider as a former concentration-camp commander. (The amazing coincidences don't stop there: the ex-Nazi will later share a hospital room with one of his Jewish prisoners.) The boy, a moral midget, offers his silence in exchange ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Armageddon (1998)

Just two months after Earth was threatened by giant comet in Deep Impact, it gets threatened again by giant meteoroid. Too near in time; too distant in tone. The total focus of our attention here, to say nothing of our hopes and our prayers and our desire to identify with ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Avengers (1998)

Lavishly refurbished TV show, and an especially dated one at that: the supercilious British superspies of the late 1960s, illegitimate spawn of 007. Anything goes: a dead ringer for Mrs. Peel, an invisible man, a supervillain in command of the world's weather, anything but a spark of life, a lightness ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

Before and after all else, this is simply a sequel, with some of the common symptoms of sequelitis: a swelling of the head, a puffing-up of the body, an overall putting-on of pounds. The critics' exaggeration of the original's modest charms can only have aggravated the situation. (The same director, ... (G)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Baseketball (1998)

A couple of infantile nitwits (the co-creators of TV's South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, a couple of infantile nitwits) invent a driveway hybrid of baseball and basketball -- but mostly basketball -- and it blossoms into a throwback professional sport, resurrecting the true "spirit of athletic competition." The ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

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