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movie reviews

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, John Getz

Directed by: Stephen Herek

Blame the smash of 'Home Alone' for the new herd of kids-on-the-loose movies. Let's hope none are dumber than this one. Christina Applegate, who plays Kelly Bundy with such slutty verve on Married ... With Children, stars as Sue Ellen "Swell" Crandell, the eldest of a brood of five (ages six to seventeen). Their divorced mom has left them for the summer with baby sitter Lil Sturak (Eda Reiss Merin), a gentle old biddy who turns into Rambo when Mom exits. "All right, you maggots... | More »

City Slickers

Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern

Directed by: Ron Underwood

This is low comedy of a high order, the rowdiest western jokefest since Blazing Saddles. Billy Crystal stars as Mitch Robbins, a Manhattan radio-ad salesman with a wife (Patricia Wettig), two kids and a ten-ton midlife crisis brought on by his fortieth birthday. To cheer up Mitch, his two best buddies – extroverted sporting-goods exec Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby) and timid grocer Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern) – take him on vacation to a working dude ranch. Mitch's pals have troubl... | More »

Jungle Fever

Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Spike Lee

Directed by: Spike Lee

Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) is a married black architect from Harlem. Angela Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) is an Italian secretary from Bensonhurst. And they've gotta have it. In Jungle Fever, Spike Lee is less interested in their affair than the environment in which it takes place. As Lee sees it, racial and class conflicts – intensified by sex, drugs, violence, politics, religion, music and myth – have turned urban America into a powder keg. Lee tips his hand by dedicating t... | More »

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

Christina Applegate

Directed by: Stephen Herek

Blame the smash of 'Home Alone' for the new herd of kids-on-the-loose movies. Let's hope none are dumber than this one. Christina Applegate, who plays Kelly Bundy with such slutty verve on Married . . . With Children, stars as Sue Ellen "Swell" Crandell, the eldest of a brood of five (ages six to seventeen). Their divorced mom has left them for the summer with baby sitter Lil Sturak (Eda Reiss Merin), a gentle old biddy who turns into Rambo when Mom exits. "All right, you maggo... | More »

June 1, 1991

Dying Young

Julia Roberts

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

Death gets the glamour treatment in this genderbending ripoff of Love Story. Victor Geddes, an impossible role well played by Campbell Scott, has money, intelligence, good looks and leukemia. To get through chemotherapy, he hires a private nurse. Well, not a nurse exactly. Hilary O'Neil, played by the pretty-woman incarnate, Julia Roberts, did want to be a nurse in high school. But it didn't pan out. No matter. Hilary's job interview, in spike heels and a red mini, more than co... | More »

May 31, 1991

Soapdish

Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr.

Directed by: Michael Hoffman

Daytime TV dramas can be a fertile field for satire. Though falling far short of the peerless Tootsie, Soapdish has moments of inspired lunacy. Directed by Michael Hoffman (Promised Land) from a script by Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and Andrew Bergman (The Freshman), this unbridled farce boasts a spirited cast of crazies, led by Sally Field as Celeste Talbert, the aging star of The Sun Also Sets. Accepting her umpteenth award, Talbert thanks her co-workers, who mutter beneath their fixed... | More »

May 24, 1991

Hudson Hawk

Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

Call it 'Hudson the Duck.' A movie this unspeakably awful can make an audience a little crazy. You want to throw things, yell at the actors, beg them to stop. But the film drags on, digging horrible memories into the brain – like Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello's singing. Willis, in the title role, plays a cat burglar just out of jail and back on the job with his friend Tommy Messina (Aiello). They pride themselves on completing a museum robbery in the exact time it takes t... | More »

Only the Lonely

John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Danny Muldoon (John Candy), a good-slob Chicago cop, lives with his widowed mother, Rose (a misused Maureen O'Hara), a sharp-tongued Irish immigrant who ties her apron strings around Danny like a noose. So there's trouble when Danny starts showing an interest in Theresa (Ally Sheedy), a shy mortician's daughter. Producer John Hughes and director Chris Columbus – reteaming after their Home Alone high – hit bottom this time. Columbus's sterile script turns Danny... | More »

Truly, Madly, Deeply

Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Jenny Howe

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Think of this persuasively acted British romance as the thinking man's Ghost. Juliet Stevenson stars as Nina, a woman who cannot accept the accidental death of her musician lover Jamie, played by Alan Rickman (Die Hard). Her grief so disrupts her life, her friendships and her work that she seeks out a therapist. Isolated in her flat, she is visited by her lover's spirit. She's delighted at first, but then he starts complaining about the cold and the food. He even invites in ot... | More »

Thelma & Louise

Susen Sarandon, Geena Davis, Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel, Christopher McDonald

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Call it a comedy of shocking gravity. Thelma & Louise begins like an episode of I Love Lucy and ends with the impact of Easy Rider. It's a bumpy path between those points, and director Ridley Scott (Black Rain) and first-time screenwriter Callie Khouri don't cushion the ride. The film switches moods violently, and sometimes it just jerks your chain. But this is movie dynamite, detonated by award-caliber performances from Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in the title roles. Davis ... | More »

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