"Yield to temptation. It may not pass your way again."
FILMS SEEN IN THE CINEMA (WELL, SORTOF)
by Richard Karsmakers
(with guest scribbles by Michael Noyce and Kev Davies)
Again, a few films "on the big screen" have been obserbed by a
few dedicated ST NEWS writers. Some opinionated writings to be
found below, chronological order of viewing.
The Lion King
After "Aladdin", I think this is yet another fine example of a
Walt Disney feature-length animated film. The soundtrack is
brilliant, the atmosphere is excellent, and the whole thing has a
nice story (no matter how much it actually seems like a cross of
"Junglebook" and "Bambi" filmed in Africa). I saw this one with
Karin again, a few days before Christmas '94, so the whole
experience was laden with nice memories of A Nice Knee To Lay A
Hand On and Beautiful Eyes To Glance Into During The Few Idle
I think everybody should have seen "The Lion King". If perhaps
not in the cinema, then at least on video.
Oooh! A landmark has been reached!! Yes folks, not only is this
my first film review for ST NEWS, but "Stargate" is the first
film-to-be-seen-at-the-cinema-with-the-lads of 1995!! Much
typical student type celebration abound. Anyway, the film...
"Stargate" starts in 1928 at some archaeological dig in Egypt
(kind of reminded me of the desert scene in "Raiders of the Lost
Ark") where they discover the stargate - or rather a big metal
ring type of thing that no one knows what to do with or even what
it is! It isn't until the present day when a young and radical
Egyptologist Daniel Jackson (James Spader) is taken on board the
project that the stargate is activated opening a door to another
world. At this point the xenophobic military take over and send a
team of crack troops lead by Colonel Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell),
who is not all there, and James Spader through the stargate to
greet whoever or whatever awaits them on the other side with the
dangerous end of a high-calibre rifle.
When they arrive they discover an alien world that more than
looks like ancient Egypt back on Earth. They make contact with
the locals, including the beautiful Sha'uri (Mili Avital) who is
really quite drool-worthy, who believe Spader and the rest to be
Gods. It isn't long before they realise that these people live in
fear of the evil and rather camp tyrant Ra (Saye Davidson) and
decide to help them.
I think the plot is a little weak in places, but I liked the
film nevertheless, and it ticks along nicely with a few twists
here and there. I dislike films where you get bogged down because
the plot is so damn complicated, fortunately "Stargate" doesn't
fall into this category. Apart from the rather dodgy visual
effects early in the film the cinematography is pretty good, as
is the acting. There are moments that will make you laugh and
others that will make you less so.
A good and entertaining film. If you like the Science-
Fiction/Fantasy genre then go and see this film or rent it as
soon as it's released. If you aren't one of these people you'll
probably enjoy it anyway. "Stargate" is the type of film that we
could be viewing on TV over Christmas in a year or two.
I guess two words suffice to describe this - "sexy thriller".
Demi Moore - with her irresistably hoarse voice - seduces her ex-
boyfriend and current employee Michael Douglas. For once the
roles are turned around. What could mean a lengthy film about the
way men are treated like shit eventually turns out into enough of
a cyberculture conspiracy thing (based on a book by Michael
Crichton, so what else can you expect?). Some of the special
"virtual reality" computer effects are positively breathtaking,
the story is sortof OK, it is well filmed, and Demi has beautiful
legs and wears the right kind of high heels if you ask me.
Although perhaps too much of a "ready to digest" best seller
film such as we've seen perhaps too often of late (do the names
Grisham and Crichton ring any bells?), it's quite full of
suspense and I'd definitely stay home if this was ever shown on
A friend of mine has connections. They involve commercially
pirated copies of videos. It means he's got some really good
stuff on video that has only been in the cinema for a few weeks.
I think that's a really cool thing for, among other things, it
allowed me to have a look at "Pulp Fiction" for absolutely zilch.
Well, that's a lie. I offered to buy him a beer when I borrowed
the video. Still, a good price to pay for seeing a film in the
privacy of your own home, drinking cheap Pepsi Max instead of the
over-priced shit you get in cinemas.
The entire above paragraph is all a lie after "A friend of
mine", although the bit about the beer is true and he did have
the videos. He bought them in Malaysia where he spent a few weeks
around New Year. People in Malaysia have different views on
copyright laws, apparently, and who's going to mind a few videos?
Be that as it may, I did see the film and I have to say it's
brilliant. I've never seen anything by Quentin Tarantino before,
but I can tell you that I will. The man's a genius if you ask me.
I haven't laughed as much since I saw "Naked Gun 33.3", and that
was somewhere in the summer of last year when my life was quite
I am not going to analyse the interlocking action of the
stories, nor the acting or the language. All I can say is that it
bestowed on me a need to say "fuck" and "shit" and "ass" a lot.
FUCK. SHIT. ASS.
Well, glad I got that off my chest. "Pulp Fiction" should
definitely be seen. The humour is mostly black, but it's really
insanely funny. The thing that surprised me most was that Karin
was actually the one who told me it was a cool film that I should
That made me love her a lot more.
Natural Born Killers
What goes for "Pulp Fiction" pretty much goes for "Natural Born
Killers", too (yes, the film that whatever hypocrites at the
British film board or whatchamacallit banned from UK cinemas).
It, too, came from Malaysia and it was a pirate copy. I think,
like "Pulp Fiction", it was actually shot in a cinema. Remarkable
quality, considering that.
But let's cut the bush and quit beating around the crap, shall
we? "Natural Born Killers" it is.
Tarantino was a genius, and I'm tempted to say that Oliver Stone
is, too. Either it's an over-pretentious effort at trying to be
very literary or it's a quite deep voyage into the psyche - not
only that of a few serial killer humans but also that of the
gathered U.S. of friggin' A. It's a really strange story, where
flashbacks and the current are constantly intertwined, as well as
the real and surreal, fantasy and reality. Is it a satire? Well,
it probably is, to some extent, as Stone uses multiple genres -
including "crap sixties TV sitcom" and cartoons - to sketch the
surroundings of Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis on their way
across route 666, killing over 50 people. In the end one would
tend to conclude that they are actually the only killers bred by
society, with the others rather of a more natural born
inclination (such as the rattle snakes, the many animals of prey
in the background and metaphoric flashes, and perhaps even the
raving "American Maniacs" reporter).
The film is at times disturbing and at times a bit like watching
a prolonged MTV video clip with a wagonload of diagonal shots,
short cuts and what have you.
On the down side I'd like to proclaim that I personally think
Juliette Lewis is a crap actress. She's got a good body, sure,
and a pretty face, too, but I've seen her in one or two other
films and she always plays exactly the same character. The same
shy smile, the same frustrated character. No, give me Meryl
Streep any day (he said, voice lowering to a baritone for some or
I would like to advise people to watch this film especially when
they're living in the UK, as I heard it was banned there. If you
live in the USA, don't bother, because you're part of it already.
Splat!! Blood,and Guts hit the wall as another Quentin Tarantino
connected film hits our cinimas.
This time however, Quenty did not write the screen play, that
job was left to Hollywood's other 'blue-eyed boy', Oliver Stone;
as he gets his fingers messy with this kinda film.
On with the plot, well if you can call it a plot (blot would be
nearer the mark). The basic story line is this, Woody Harrelson
and Julliette Lewis star as Mickey and Mallory Knox, two lovers
who get turned on by shooting the shit out of anybody who happens
to be nearby, and that laughably is it. However some good acting,
and the magic of a Quentin Tarantino story placed onto the
cinematique screen by Oliver Stone manages to drag this film out
of the hole where it would have otherwise been buried in or
rather flopped into.
The camera work in this film is excellent, so much so in fact
that it manages to detract from how crap the plot really is, it
cuts from colour film to b/w, animation to subliminal screens,
with such ease of movement it is breath taking. The soundtrack
cannot be faulted, as with all ultra violent films since Ressy
Dogs, and once again the merchandising guys have got in and it is
also "available of CD and cassette", Hmmm.
In conclusion this film can only be describled as a visual and
audial trip into the mind of everyone's favourite geek, but be
careful in there, it is designed to incite violence into all who
may enter (i.e. you leave the cinema wanting to kill your
friends, if you have any). A good solid piece of visual diarrhoea
that will be enjoyed by the less faint hearted of you out there.
In the course of the last few years, a few films have been made
that have American family values or similar shit thrown in for
what the makers reckon "good accord". What started off and,
indeed, continued for almost the entire time as a really good
film, in the last five minutes left the taste of bitter gall in
Jodie Foster's most excellent and lovely portrayal of total
recluse Nell shuddered me, really it did. The film is well made,
with beautiful shots of the wilderness in which Niam Leeson and
Natasha Richardson study their object of interest. What starts
off as a "you should better leave people be the way they are"
film, quite credibly so, is changed at the end in to a semi-
obligatory happy kind of thing where Nell gets reintegrated into
society and everybody is happy.
Except for me, that is, or anyone blessed with more than one
brain cell worth of eastheticism.
The first part of the film would get a rating of 8.5; the last
five minutes decrease this to a 7. If you happen to go and see
this one in the cinema, run off directly after the already
slightly less credulous courtroom scene and you'll have seen a
much better film.
If you've ever read Stephen King's "The Stand" you will find
striking similarities between that book and this film starring a
somewhat uncharacteristic Dustin Hof(f)man(n). This time a virus
breaks out from some kind of African backwater in the jungle
(poignantly significant in the light of the recent Ebola outbreak
in a similar area) and gets transported to the US by a
contaminated monkey that passes through customs unnoticed. While
the god-loving US of friggin' A get contaminated, one town
specifically, Dustin and his team (including ex-wife) start a
search for the carrier from which an anti-serum can supposedly be
made. An evil general - played by Donald Sutherland - plans to
bomb the town that has the virus outbreak and, because Dustin's
ex-wife is in the hospital there (infected eventually) he tries
to prevent it in the end.
There are quite a few thrilling chase scenes in the film, and
although the plot it way too smooth and the breaks always come at
the right narrative moments, it is a very exciting film that kept
me - and even Karin who is more into artsy films - on our toes
most of the time. And, in the end, of course, Dustin and his ex
get reunited. Of course, no American film without a happy end
involving family values. Those last minutes left the bitter
aftertaste I still recalled from "Nell" and even "Jurassic Park".
Don Juan de Marcos
A romantic comedy with Johnny Depp as Don Juan de Marcos and a
rather stunning cast of light-brown-skinned females as the ones
that fall for his charms. Marlon Brando gained quite a few stones
and plays a boring psychiatrist that is changed by his patient, a
young man who thinks he's Don Juan. There are some quite stunning
romantic lines in this films, and the story as a whole is quite
nice despite the rather very corny ending, but I think I'd have
preferred to see this on video rather than on the silver screen.
An English critic said that is watching this film couldn't get
you laid you probably never would get laid at all. Well, I am not
sure if it was triggered by this film, but despite the fact that
I was really tired and had a nose cold, after Karin and me had
watched this film the night did start rather extra beautifully.
More in the next issue, of course...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.