The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 27, 2000 · Page 82
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 82

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Friday, October 27, 2000
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Page 82
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The Cincinnati Enquirer run Friday, October 27, 2000 5 By Margaret A. McGurk The Cincinnati Enquiwr HOW THEY RATE Motion Picture Association of America classifications G: General audiences. All ages admitted. PC: Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. NC-17: No children under 17 admitted. Excellent Good Fair Poor No star - Bomb Even well-versed moviegoers may not catch some of the most interesting aspects of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. That's because they refer to, draw upon and mimic documentaries, which as a genre represent the least-seen movies in America. No surprise there. Director Joe Bcrlinger catapulted to national attention with Brother's Keeper, the brilliant 1992 nonfic-tion film he co-directed with Bruce Sinofsky. The two re-teamed on the equally gripping Paradise ljst: Die Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills in 1996. The second film, about teenagers convicted of murder based largely on their taste for Goth rock and black clothes, is a notable influence in this sequel to last year's runaway hit fake documentary. The Blair Witch Project Book of Shadows is considerably bloodier than the original, and leaves far less to the imagination. The script by Mr. Berlinger and Dick Bee be, though it loses its way fairly often, makes intriguing use of questions about truth vs. imagination, image vs. fact, dreams vs. reality, and significantly, the difference between experience recorded in memory vs. Erica Leerhsen, Stephen Barker Turner, Tristen Skyler and Jeffrey Donovan Although confused, 'Blair Witch' sequel asks interesting questions Shadow of the original. MOVIE REVIEW Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (R; violence, language, sexuality, drug use) Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica leerhsen, Tristen Skyler, Stephen Barker Turner. Directed by Joe Berlinger. 90 minutes. National Amusements, Princess Oxford, Colony Square, Danbarry Middletown, Showplace 8. experience recorded on magnetic tape. Like its predecessor. Book of Shadows proceeds from the original pretense that Burkittsville, Md., has been plagued with mysterious murders for two centuries, all attributable to a "witch" expelled from the community in colonial times. It uses the factual information that after The Blair Witch Project, the town was overrun with gapers and witch-hunters. (This was so true that the real Burkittsville refused to let the filmmakers back in town for the sequel.) The new cast, actors who share their real names with their characters, include Jeffrey Donovan as a local ne'er-do-well who hustles tourists with stick figures, hats and T-shirts (much like those hustled by the movie company). When he offers a camping trip into the woods where the grisly business allegedly took place, he is joined by a couple of researchers, Tristen Skyler and Stephen Turner; Erica Leerhsen, a Wiccan looking to redeem the image of the Blair witch; and Kim Director, a cynical Goth girl looking for kicks. After a night of drinking and dope smoking, they awake with no memory of several hours. Back at Jeff s camera-laden outpost, they learn another tour group has been slaughtered. Soon things get ugly at Jeffs, with all signs pointing to the influence of an evil spirit Throughout, the group is plagued by visions, hallucinations and flashes of ugly memory. Among them are Jeffs memories of a stint in a mental hospital, closely modeled on Frederick Wiseman's electrifying 1967 documentary Titicut Follies. It is telling that those harrowing images modeled exactly on factual events are more haunting than the make-believe mayhem out there in the woods. Artisan Entertainment head into the woods. r , t A'- I . '"'"fa MGM Home Entertainment Harry Shearer (left), Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. Spinal Tap' has lock on rock mockery By Margaret A. McGurk The Cincinnati Enquirer Since This is Spinal Tap first arrived in 1984, 1 have watched it at least a half dozen times. Every time, I laughed harder than the last That friends, is the mark of a great comedy. Humor rarely holds up as well over the years as this deadpan classic has done. A newly buf fed-up re-release featuring some added footage and cleaner sound is mainly a promotion for the new DVD, but who cares? This is one funny puppy. Tap, the film that made standard MOVIE REVIEW This is Spinal Tap (R; language) Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer. Directed by Rob Reiner. 82 minutes. The Esquire. movie lingo, follows "one of England's loudest bands" on a snake-bitten tour of America under the watchful cameras of Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner, who also directed). David St Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufiiel (Christopher Guest) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), stagger from one disastrous gig to another while delivering such deathless comedy moments as Nigel's explanation of why the volume controls on his amps go to 11, or the disintegration of a dramatic stage moment with the appearance of 18-inch tall Stonehenge. There are cold sores, exploding drummers, an astrologicalh inclined girlfriend from hell, the gig at the air force base one could go on and on. But one won't not wishing to spoil the fun for those who have yet to meet the band. One will only say this: As long as rock stars are vain and dull, as long as record companies are greedy, as long as screaming guitars and idiot lyrics top the charts, as long as there is a thin line between clever and stupid. Tap will rule.

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