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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

The 13th Warrior (1999)

An Arabian Nights tale detoured into a Norse saga. (A little off the beaten path, too, for the author of the original novel, Michael Crichton.) Lots of gore, but lots more hair. John McTiernan's careening Steadicam slips and slides over every possible point of interest. The release was delayed so ... (R)

0.0 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

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

The 24-Hour Woman (1999)

A shared load of working-mother stress and pressure, not everyone's notion of moviegoing fun. Director Nancy Savoca (True Love, Dogfight, Household Saints) makes little personal movies about small-as-life people, mainly women, in small-as-life predicaments, almost as if she were operating in the field of the serious novel rather than the ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

8-1/2 Women (1999)

A Peter Greenaway erudition display, or in other words a film to bang your head against. Arch, artificial (and harshly recorded) talk of sex, death, money, religion, Fellini (hence the title), Mondrian, Austen, Hardy, etc., in flat, rigid, squared-up compositions, sometimes containing antiseptic nudes. The photography (the venerable Sacha Vierny ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

8mm (1999)

A family-man gumshoe follows the trail of an apparent snuff film (a genre originally dismissed as an "urban myth") into the S&M underworld, with a Hollywood porn-shop clerk as his guide. Hyperbolic detective story, combining the routine barbarity and depravity of a Matthew Scudder case (Lawrence Block, novelist) with a ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Acid House (1999)

Paul McGuigan's unsavory anthology of three short stories by Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting), combining sordid naturalism and scabrous whimsy. God Himself plays a major part in the first story ("That cunt Nietzsche was wide of the mark when he said that I was dead"), and puts in cameo appearances ... (NR)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1999)

Normal teen confusion, compounded by a mop-haired stepdad who's undergoing a sex change ("He still wants to be with my mom, so I guess that makes him a dyke"). A coming-of-age tale, circa 1983, with that special American-independent spin -- or wobble. Unreal, unfunny, uninvolving. With Adrian Grenier, Clark Gregg, ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

An Affair of Love (1999)

Dull title, and for good reason. That's not the title. The title in the original French, the title spelled out on screen, is Une Liaison Pornographique, no translation necessary. (Maybe an explanation of "irony" is necessary.) The film itself, concerning a pair of perfect strangers who meet through the Classifieds ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Agnes Browne (1999)

Anjelica Huston devises her own personal solution to the shortage of parts for mature women: directing herself in the lead role of a widowed mother of seven, in Dublin circa the middle late Sixties. ("Seven children and" -- demonstrating her unfamiliarity with Masters and Johnson -- "not one organism to ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All about My Mother (1999)

Pedro Almodóvar's paean to womanhood, in particular motherhood and actresshood, is dedicated to three of the kind: Bette Davis, specifically for All about Eve; Gena Rowlands, for Opening Night; and Romy Schneider, for The Important Thing Is to Love. The title, quite plainly, derives from the Davis film, a Spanish-dubbed ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Beauty (1999)

A mainstreamy, sitcommy version of Happiness, awash in splashy, trashy plot turns. Any movie whose opening line features a sulky teenage girl (in a grainy video image, but never mind that) saying directly into a camcorder, "I need a father who's a role model, not some horny geek-boy who's gonna ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Movie (1999)

Comic documentary, not quite a "mockumentary," about a marginal Milwaukee filmmaker by the name of Mark Borchardt (whose upper Midwest accent is suspiciously thicker than any in his immediate family), spurred by the regional cinema of Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to do his ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

American Pie (1999)

Horny-teenager update at the end of the millennium. Four buddies form a pact to lose their virginity by prom night: "No longer will our penises be flaccid and unused!" Moments of tastelessness intrude on stretches of mere insipidness. Chris Klein and Natasha Lyonne can do better for themselves, and already ... (R)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Among Giants (1999)

Business mixed with pleasure: a breakneck project to paint several miles' worth of power-line pylons across the bleak Yorkshire landscape, and a romance between the foreman of the crew and a peregrinating, rock-climbing Aussie lass who hires on for pocket money. The camaraderie and conflict among the laborers (a strained ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd