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Jason X

Having taken the unstoppable killing machine Jason to Manhattan and hell, the franchise sends him into space. In the year 2455 archaeologists visiting earth uncover the cryogenically preserved bodies of Jason and a female scientist, then take them back to their spaceship and thaw them out. Bad idea. Jason lumbers around depopulating the ship, while […]

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Movies

Film listings are compiled from information available Monday, Occasionally bookings change after our deadline; we suggest you call ahead for confirmation. Submissions to the film listings are always welcome, but must include a phone number for publication. Commentary by Jonathan Rosenbaum and, where noted, by Fred Camper (FC), Don Druker (DD), Pat Graham (PG), Dave […]

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Fertile Attraction

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE *** (A must-see) Directed by Curtis Hanson Written by Amanda Silver With Annabella Sciorra, Rebecca De Mornay, and Matt McCoy. The only trouble that’s interesting is the trouble you ask for. That’s a basic rule of thriller construction that Curtis Hanson has followed since his first low-budget effort from […]

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Die Yuppie Scum

THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS *** (A must-see) Directed and written by Wes Craven With Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer, and Ving Rhames. For Hollywood this has been a season of surprises, mostly disappointing ones. This is the time of year when what passes for “serious adult” films –not dramas necessarily, but […]

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Physiognomy as Fate

FRANKIE & JOHNNY ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Garry Marshall With Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. Frankie & Johnny is about the difficult courtship of two working people who, though they work side by side eight hours at a time, cannot quite manage to communicate. If the idea sounds familiar, it should. Though based on […]

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Young Love

THE MAN IN THE MOON **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Robert Mulligan Written by Jenny Wingfield With Reese Witherspoon, Emily Warfield, Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, and Jason London. Apparently by coincidence, Robert Mulligan’s latest film, The Man in the Moon, is set in 1957, the year Mulligan’s first movie, Fear Strikes Out, was released. The 50s, […]

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Sex Is Difficult

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS *** (A must-see) Directed by Tim Burton Written by Burton and Caroline Thompson With Johnny Depp, Dianne Wiest, Winona Ryder, Alan Arkin, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, and Anthony Michael Hall. Although nostalgia for childhood, particularly boyhood, underpins many a Hollywood extravaganza, that longing is not usually loosed with any emotional restraint. Perhaps that […]

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The Two Jacks

THE TWO JAKES *** (A must-see) Directed by Jack Nicholson Written by Robert Towne With Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, and Madeleine Stowe. Jack Nicholson is no Roman Polanski, so right from the start it was unlikely that The Two Jakes was going to equal the achievement of Chinatown. Aside from his stylistic flamboyance, the […]

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Tone Control

GHOST *** (A must-see) Directed by Jerry Zucker Written by Bruce Joel Rubin With Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tony Goldwyn. Could it be that the charming but slight 1937 ghost comedy Topper is going to take its place on the list of American classics–The Searchers, Rear Window, Scarface, etc–that have provided narrative […]

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Working-Class Hero

THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE * (Has redeeming facet) Directed by Renny Harlin Written by Daniel Waters, James Cappe, and David Arnott With Andrew Dice Clay, Priscilla Presley, and Wayne Newton. The most eloquent testimony to the perversity of American politics is that the politicians and parties who have made the most overt appeals to […]

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Teen Beat

CRY-BABY *** (A must-see) Directed and written by John Waters With Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, and Polly Bergen. “I’m tired of being good,” says sweet little Allison Vernon-Williams near the beginning of Cry-Baby, the new musical comedy by John Waters. This WASP beauty with the double-barreled handle, whose closest […]

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Hard Buddies

TANGO & CASH ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky Written by Randy Feldman With Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, and Jack Palance. The penis, when in the hands of an actor, never amounts to much more than comic relief, even when it is only wielded metaphorically. Though the penile jousting in Tango & Cash is […]

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Tragedy by Numbers

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS * (Has redeeming facet) Directed and written by Woody Allen With Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Martin Landau, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, and Sam Waterston. Woody Allen’s latest, Crimes and Misdemeanors, contains some of the best sustained filmmaking the aggressively self-made auteur has turned out in years, at least since 1984’s Broadway Danny […]

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Satire and Sadness

SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE IN BEVERLY HILLS *** (A must-see) Directed by Paul Bartel Written by Bartel and Bruce Wagner With Jacqueline Bisset, Mary Woronov, Ray Sharkey, Robert Beltran, Ed Begley Jr., Arnetia Walker, Wallace Shawn, and Bartel. Elegant drollery and wit flow through Paul Bartel’s Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills […]

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Who You Gonna Recall?

GHOSTBUSTERS II ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Ivan Reitman Written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd With Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis. I always find it weird when, during a screen sequel, audience members cheer wildly in response to an action or utterance repeated from the original film. It […]