Archive for September, 1999


September 17, 1999 Leave a comment

americanbeautyOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s difficult to imagine another film this year achieving the level of perfection American Beauty achieves. Perfect direction from Sam Mendes. A perfect screenplay by Alan Ball. Perfect performances from Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch and Chris Cooper. It’s just a shame that, in the synopsis, the movie sounds so dull because, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. We have seen scathing examinations of suburban American before. We have witnessed breakdowns of family units in the cinema, and exposed the sordid underbelly of the lives of people whose outward “normality” masks a level of cynicism, hate and deprivation. American Beauty does all those things, but somehow puts a fresh new spin on them that turns the familiar clichés on their head with wit, energy, humor and genuine emotion. Read more…

FOR LOVE OF THE GAME – Basil Poledouris

September 17, 1999 3 comments

forloveofthegameOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a long time coming, but Basil Poledouris has finally returned to top form with For Love of the Game, Sam Raimi’s unexpectedly beautiful homage to the American pastime. Based on Michael Shaara’s novel, the film stars Kevin Costner as an ageing, washed-up pitcher given one last chance at the big time by his Detroit team mates. It’s one of those traditional, “go out and win one for the Gipper” sporting wish-fulfillment fantasies, where victory in the ultimate competition hinges on the last chance of the day, and where the once-great player returns from obscurity to triumph against all the odds. It’s been done a million times before, and will be done a million times again, but Costner and his co-stars, Kelly Preston and John C. Reilly, make it wholly believable. Read more…

THE MINUS MAN – Marco Beltrami

September 10, 1999 Leave a comment

minusmanOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the UK, Hampton Fancher’s movie The Minus Man was bought by the satellite TV network Sky and shown as a “cable premiere”, completely bypassing cinema screens and video store shelves. As a result, I got to see this curious little thriller back in July, well before it opened in the States, and well before Marco Beltrami’s equally curious score surfaced on CD. The film stars Owen Wilson as Vann, an oddly mannered but seemingly pleasant enough chap who travels around middle-America in his battered pickup, getting menial jobs when he can, living in rented accommodation, and murdering people on the side. Fancher’s seemingly emotionless depiction of Vann makes the film just a little disconcerting – everything is told from his own cool and distorted point of view, blurring the line between what is real and what is purely imagined inside his own little mind. With support from Janeane Garofalo, Brian Cox, Mercedes Ruehl and singer-turned-actress Sheryl Crow as Vann’s first victim, The Minus Man is an oddball movie which will surely find a cult audience in years to come. Read more…