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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona • Page 54

Arizona Republici
Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Friday. Otiofwr 17, 1997 The Arizona Rf public D3' 'Playing God' works for Duchovny '0 1 tS W- ft A- By Kathy Cano-Murillo The Arizona Republic "To be a slave in heaven or a saint in hell." That's MOVIE REVIEW 'Playing God' DIRECTOR: Andy Wilson. CAST: David Hutton, Angelina Jolie. RATING: R. how Dr.

Eugene Sands (David explains the predicament he faces I in Playing God. From the opening Dynamite Very Good Worth Sawing So So Bomb scenes, the film resembles David Lynch meets Quentin Tarantino. Gangsters loaded with lots of charm, wit and bullets. Sands is a doctor whose good intentions of serving every patient backfire. By taking uppers and downers to stay awake, he becomes addicted and loses his medical license.

As he innocently visits a dive bar to score more wonder drugs, he switches gears from addict to physi- i mmm Urn, cian to care for a man who has just been shot. With the aid of a pop bottle, plastic tubing and a team of suddenly sober bar patrons, Sands manages to patch together a kitchen-table version of a breathing apparatus. Impressed with the doc's healing properties, a slick-witted mob boss (a grungy Timothy Hutton) persuades Sands to join his crew. From this point, the film follows Sands as he becomes a part-time bloody-body reviver, healing the bad guys so they won't have to go to a hospital. His adventures include performing a darkly humorous chest operation atop a pool table in a biker bar (more assistance from suddenly sober patrons) and being forced at gunpoint to revive a dead man at a hippie motor home.

Around this time, Sands finally realizes that no matter how down on his luck he is, he's not a criminal at heart. Once he accepts this, the movie finally starts to get interesting. Duchovny's character and his delivery of deadpan one-liners are similar to his X-Files role, so it's disappointing to see him strung out on drugs and indecision. However, faith is restored when he begins tak- Josh Hamilton and Parker Posey star in The House of Yes, a comic-drama about a woman (Posey) who has become a twisted version of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Linda ChenBeacon Communications affiliated with mob types Angelina Jolie Duchovny throw in some lines to keep it gruesomely lighthearted.

Angelina Jolie portrays the typical supermodel girlfriend caught in the middle of a triangle. Aside from wearing either too much or too little lipstick, she is convincing playing both sides. Playing God is rated for graphic violence, profanity and drug use. Wren 'House of Yes' offers freakish look at past 'Destiny' a weak peek at Dean "3k A By Bob Fenster The Arizona Republic Here's a hint: Don't make a film about a charismatic legend unless you have a star who can conjure that charisma onto the screen. James Dean: Race With Destiny doesn't have the star power.

It does have the appeal of peeking into the life of a Holly- mother has big plans for her daughter, not include marriage to an actor, particularly as crazy and American as Dean. comes up short in finding a star who the power that Dean communicated to audiences of the '50s. Van Dien, who soon will be seen in Starship Troop-ers, has Deanish looks but not MaloneyMiramax Films making dramatic speeches, while never moving off their marks. But the script is witty, and director Mark Waters, who adapted the play for the screen, shifts nimbly between comic and dramatic levels. Posey (Waiting for Guffman) could become a major star but prefers odd movies in which she can create bizarre characters who lampoon American pop symbols while reflecting deeper meaning.

Posey's performance here is strong enough for an Oscar nomination. But her campaign will be hurt because the movie tampers with a national icon and treats its dark side with levity. The House of Yes is an acquired-taste kind of movie. It will offend many people and confuse others. But if you get drawn into its sly web, you won't shake the message of the film's final shots.

The House of Yes, is rated for profanity. There is no sex or nudity. The movie plays only at the Harkins Camelview in Scottsdale. wood legend. But it not much of a peek.

The movie traces the dual tracks of Dean's career and his love life, from the time he breaks through to stardom in East of Eden to his fatal crash in 1955. Dean died at age 24 after making only three pictures, but they were enough to turn him into a pop legend. Dean (Casper Van Dien) is pictured as a Hollywood rebel, hot Dean's screen charisma. The movie's casting is more notable for its Hollywood connections. The late Robert Mitchum has two scenes, playing film director George Stevens, in his last screen performance.

The movie features other Hollywood old-timers Mike Connors, Connie Stevens and Diane Ladd and co-stars Mitchum 's granddaugh-1 ter. Carrie. The movie makes an interesting headed, impulsive, bold (at least for an actor). During production of his first picture, he meets the Italian starlet Pier Angeli (Carrie Mitchum), and each becomes the one true love of the other's life. Their love is as ill-fated as their futures in Holly- point with its solid '50s soundtrack was the first movie star of the rock-and-roll generation.

James Dean contains small amounts of nudity and sex. The movie plays only at Cornerstone in Tempe. Capstone Films Casper Van Dien takes a spin as James Dean in Race With Destiny, which traces the actor's career, beginning with asf of Eden. timRwm Lmzrmv wrmsins Ihx Digital Sound $3.75 shows Advance Ticket Sales JUL aiiuvvtiiiic bail if 222-HARUINS (j AAAAAAAAAAAAAr then press the 4-dlgit phone code for your theatre By Bob Fenster The Arizona Republic With princess worship replacing Jackie-0 worship as the fixation of choice, The House of Yes takes us back to a time when women could aspire to be Jackie-0 and everyone understood it as perfectly normal. In this odd but chilling comic-drama, Parker Posey has gone far beyond normal.

Her fixation makes for a story that's as funny as it is de- ceptively MOVIE REVIEW The House of Yes1 DIRECTOR: Mark Waters. CAST: Parker Poseyl John Hamilton, Tori Spelling. RATING: R. sad. Posey plays Jackie-O, a young woman who has herself into a twisted version of the real Jacqueline Kennedy Dynamite Very Good Worth Seeing So-So Bomb Onassis.

She has the pillbox hat, the oversize sunglasses, the total pink look. But this Jackie-0 has recently re turned from a mental institution to live with her family, whose members are rich and overmedicated. Jackie-0 is quite mad and equally charming, tended to in devotion by her mother and younger brother, who are barely treading water. Their demented but contented lives are sent into disarray when Jackie-O's twin brother (Josh Ham ilton) returns home with his fiancee (Ton Spelling). Jackie-0 cannot tolerate interfer ence with her family and determines to ruin their chances for marriage.

She may be mad, but she is accus tomed to getting her way in a family that believes in spoiling the children. Over the course of one eventful night, we learn why. The House of Yes is based on a stage play by Wendy MacLeod. The movie looks and sounds like a work of the theater. Jackie-0 and her family talk like stage characters Director's cut of 'Devil' doesn't do DIRECTOR'S, from Page Dl It has far too much going on: too many long speeches, too many endings, too much setup and not enough payoff.

Pacino probably has been itching to play the devil for years. He's slick and seductive at first. inert when he David Duchovny (right) plays a doctor and Timothy Hutton in Playing God. ing control of what is right and wrong, hooking up with the FBI (and stealing the heart of his nemesis' girl). It's almost entertaining to see him go from respected surgeon to mob doctor to FBI snitch within such a short period of time.

Hutton makes a great low-budget villain, complete with bleached hair and trailer-trash attitude. Just when the film starts to lag, Hutton and MOVIE REVIEW 'James Dean: Race With Destiny' DIRECTOR: Mardi Rustam, CAST: Casper Van Dien, Carrie Mitchum. RATING: Unrated. Dynamite Very Good Worth Seeing So-So Bomb before 6pm Drink Award Winning ON 3 SCREENS! 71 1 t. 1 C35QA Tomorrow! and they loci, tool 3.

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As for Reeves, he shows the ego of an attorney, whether that's a compliment or not. As a demonic thriller, The Devil's Advocate is not up to the standards of Rosemary's Baby or The Witches of Eastwick. But it could have been. Hackford should have cut 30 minutes from its 2z hours and rethought the direction. What remains is intriguing if not exactly satisfying.

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