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In this column we will feature thumbnail reviews by Wayne Case, a veteran of Hollywood's Big Machine who currently works for an independent film company in Los Angeles. Wayne ranks the films on a scale of 1 (bad) to 10 (good). The following are Wayne’s rankings of films for 1999.


ANNA AND THE KING Rated: 6 I wanted to like it but never became engaged. It is well produced and well cast, but I missed the music that accompanied this story in THE KING AND I. Too long by half an hour at 2 1/2 hours, doesn’t anyone remember how to say “cut”?!

MAGNOLIA Rated: 7 …(a major disappointment after the great BOOGIE NIGHTS from the same writer/director, Paul Thomas Anderson) The first half is
terrific, but a surprise that I won’t reveal here is absurd. Tom Cruise deserves, at least, a supporting actor nomination, and the rest of the large cast is almost as good as he is. At over 3 hours, it is too long by 30 minutes. This should have been another SHORT CUTS, which it resembles, but it “falls” far short of that.

THE BICENTENNIAL MAN Rated: 8 I realize that many will disagree with me
on this one, but I was fascinated & entertained. This is a very thoughtful
film and the pace is appropriately measured. At 2 1/4 hours, given the scope
of a 200 year time span for the story, I wouldn’t know what to cut. Robin
Williams is appropriately and thankfully restrained this time & director
Chris Columbus is in a more the usual for him adult mode. The art & set
decoration is very clever and not overdone.

THE STRAIGHT STORY Rated: 3 (I expect mine to be the minority
opinion…) I’d rename it STRAIGHT TO THE NURSING HOME. Where were the maps?
Where was the Highway Patrol? Why wasn’t their any other traffic on the
road he traveled? Where were his other children during all this?! Richard
Farnsworth is probably a nice older gentleman and he is a likely Oscar
nominee. So be it, BUT he won’t get my vote this time! It’s time for
director David Lynch to try for something akin to BLUE VELVET & TWIN PEAKS,
please!!!

I give THE INSIDER 8 1/2. Probably in my top ten (or close), but I found it a bit DRY for my personal taste. I felt that the Russell Crowe part was a little too unemotional considering what was happening, and yet I wouldn’t begrudge RC a supporting actor nomination. Also nomination consideration for photography, editing, Pacino, writing and possible others. (By the way…what was that scene in the snow near the end doing in there??? Someone told me that it had to do with another 60 MINUTES case that they were working on at the same time…

ANYWHERE BUT HERE gets a 5. Well, I wanted to like it, but was never engaged! No fault of the two actresses and I LOVE the 40-something year old HART BOCHNER. Shawn Hatosy as Benny was wonderful and it was great to hear the song previously used in THE BROTHERS MACMULLAN called I WILL REMEMBER YOU. Major problem: at least half an hour TOO LONG at about 130 minutes…

DOGMA—a 7. (A generous 7…considering.) Again, 20 minutes TOO LONG at 125 minutes or more…I did laugh…but some of the speeches were totally unnecessary. This film is wildly uneven. Liked Matt Daemon, loved Ben Affleck, thought the director (KevinSmith) and his sidekick in the film were very funny. Couldn’t anyone say”CUT!!!”???

THE BONE COLLECTOR is a 7. Riveting, but the ending is a bit of a let-down. Also, a couple of the supporting characters are far too familiar. All-in-all, worth seeing. Denzel Washington is better than in his other recent efforts (excluding THE HURRICANE for which he deserves an Oscar nomination), and Angelina Jolie is excellent in a part that reminded me of recent (KISS THE GIRLS & DOUBLE JEOPARDY) Ashley Judd parts/performances/appearance.

THE BACHELOR ranks a 4. Pass…Nice cast, some great visuals of all the brides on the streets of San Francisco, but simply NOT funny.

AMERICAN BEAUTY—9 1/2. Outstanding in every way and in every category. Sure to be a major contender or winner for the OSCARS.

I hated BRINGING OUT THE DEAD…Rate it a 2 (out of a possible 10).Dark,
ugly, DULL, dead, indeed!

Best/Worst Films of 1999

This is Wayne’s list of the Best and Worst films of 1999. Enjoy.

Bests

1. The Cider House Rules
2. Liberty Heights
3. American Beauty
4. October Sky
5. The Insider
6. The Sixth Sense
7. Any Given Sunday
8. Boys Don’t Cry
9. Angela’s Ashes
10. Mumford

Runners-Up (Alphabetical)

American Pie
The Bicentennial Man
Cookie’s Fortune
Deep End Of The Ocean
Election
Go
The Green Mile
The Hurricane
An Ideal Husband
Music Of The Heart
Notting Hill
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Three Kings
Twin Falls, Idaho

Honorable Mentions (Alphabetical)

The End Of The Affair
Girl, Interrupted
Hard
A Walk On The Moon

Best Foreign Language

1. All About My Mother
2. Run Lola Run

Guilty Pleasures (Alphabetical)

Best Laid Plans
Deep Blue Sea
Fight Club
Get Real
Never Been Kissed
She’s All That
Simply Irresistible
10 Things I Hate About You
Trick
Varsity Blues

Worsts

1. 8mm
2. The Out-of-Towners
3. Wild Wild West
4. Ravenous
5. In Dreams
6. Man On The Moon
7. Instinct
8. Bringing Out The Dead
9. The Blair Witch Project
10. Eyes Wide Shut TIED WITH Baby Geniuses

Dishonorable Mentions

1. Jawbreaker
2. 200 Cigarettes
3. Mickey Blue Eyes
4. Message In A Bottle
5. Big Daddy

Painful Experiences
After watching one long hour of these, I walked… (Alphabetical)

Analyze This
Blue Streak
Cradle Will Rock
Dog Park
The Mod Squad
Three To Tango

...more to come!



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