Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on March 26, 1999 · Page 59
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 59

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Friday, March 26, 1999
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D3 Addendum to Oscars: The academy nearly got it right Friday, March 26,. 1999 e The Arizona Republic By Bob Fenster The Arizona Republic One problem with the Oscar TV show running long every year: It jruns right over my deadline as well as the deadlines of most reporters around the country. No, I didn't get to shout, "Stop the press" Sunday night. Instead, my editor sent a quiet e-mail that we'd be a few minutes late. Rushing to print left a few notes and quotes out of the main story. Here they are: I, was five for six in my predictions of the big races: the four acting categories, director and picture. I'm bragging because this was a tough year to call, unlike predicting the Titanic juggernaut last year. This year, there were at least three viable candidates in each category. As the evening rolled on, I was five for five, nailing the tough ones for Best Actor (Roberto Benigni) and Best Supporting Actress (Judi 'Harmonists' strikes familiar, if pleasant, note By Richard Nilsen The Arizona Republic The problem with The Harmonists is that you come out of the theater feeling like you've seen the movie before. More than once. The German-language movie follows the careers of the members of a real-life German popular-music group from the 1920s and '30s. The group, called the Comedian Harmonists, was a close-harmony sextet that specialized in novelty tunes and sentimental ballads. The group was enormously popular in its day, and band members even made 13 movies. We follow the group's leader, Harry Frommermann (Ulrich Noethen), as he comes up with the idea of imitating in German the a cappella sounds of a Black American group, the Revelers. Then we see him hiring the rest of the band, we follow him as he woos and loses, then wins his lady love. And, of course, we see the roadblock ahead as Hitler takes power in Germany and makes things very hard for the three Jewish band members. So, lots of really nice music to hear, a love story, some personal friction aniong the band members, a social upheaval that makes it difficult for the band to continue this is Brassed Off in German. Like Brassed Off', a 1996 English film about a colliery band trying to survive the closing of the coal mines, The Harmonists is well made and full of interesting characters, rounded out and well acted by an ensemble cast. There are other films that come to mind also: The Commitments, for instance. im & IM 0 0 " ' MCWl"-'.IH,. 'VJ.ll ' rt. .,! ' - j 1 1 1 HARKIN8 I I HAHKINS 1 1 HARKINS I I HAHKIN8 t f"k-r"0 W r A aV METmuumy liciwMu arcauia luxury a Arizona mills luxury it beu Towrit clntke i f I 3 I A. rf r f Mummi'Mui 4(lin Xuw & turns It) MUS r .iinemov fw SWamn AhSiw s Hut nam nnuim tmum nnuiinu tmum itam niHMKM. 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Hu & ?umm nam nt.UK mntt lt . mb V4e . miwo nam mum tmramr til uc . nwra til uc inn oateway'Sllaoi 10 II wouiwiiaoe io II ---"'ni'aiMrfnnfl 1 1 T! Da 1 1 N PASSES, COUPONS, GROUP ACTIVITY ili?" ""'biS'm." .ii;iliqilUIIU. fflrfss nTS TICKETS OR VIP TICKETS ACCEPTED ROOM Dench). I figured I had a lock on it when Steven Spielberg was named Best Director. No way he wouldn't also get Best Picture for Saving Private Ryan, his grippingly realistic view of the Normandy invasion that turned the tide of World War II. The two awards virtually go raised fist in fist. Have for years. Spielberg thought so, too. You could tell by his speech: "Am I allowed to say I really wanted this?" he asked in what he had to assume was a rhetorical question. Spielberg thought he was getting Best Picture because he went on to talk about honoring the men who fell in World War II and their families. However, the academy voters sucker-punched Spielberg a minute later when they told him in no KfOVIE REVIEW The Harmonists' DIRECTOR: Joseph Vilsmaier. CAST: Ulrich Noethen, Ben Becker, Meret Becker. RATING: R. Dynamite VeryGood Worth Seeing So-So Bomb And there are so many well-worn scenes that you may come away from The Harmonists thinking you've seen a movie synthetically rebuilt from the spare parts of other films. As the group grows in popularity, for instance, director Joseph Vilsmaier summarizes its rise with a multiple-exposure montage of calendar pages blowing past, sheets of music flipping, railroad trains entering and leaving stations, and playbills and posters pasted on auditorium marquees, all accompanied by the group's music. It's like The Seven Little Foys, Yankee Doodle Dandy or any other Hollywood musical biopic. What is different is the music. It has genuine charm of its own, and you cannot help but tap your toe as the movie passes painlessly by. The group sounds a little like the Mills Brothers, if you can imagine them singing with the rhythmic regularity of a Bavarian marching band. The Harmonists is a pleasant film to watch, but no one will ever mistake it for a Citizen Kane. And most of all: Be prepared to see things you've seen before. The film is rated R for some rough language and brief nudity. y s ' f$&or mm? p ?to -falte 3k uncertain terms that he was not allowed to say how much he wanted it. Personally, I think I was six for. six. The academy got it wrong. Shakespeare in Love was a terrific film. In just about any other year, it should hav won. Same with Life Is Beautiful. However, Saving Private Ryan is not just the movie that people will remember 20 years from now. It's a pivotal picture. It made us look at the carnage of mechanized warfare in a new way, and it redefined the war film for the next generation of moviemakers. No doubt, Spielberg is the most embarrassed man in Hollywood. As I told one of my editors, "It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for a billionaire." He laughed, then corrected me: "It's enough to make you feel sorry for an artist." That's true. Why did Shakespeare in Love i nk "1 v J I Jumbo Pictures Doug Funnie is smitten with cute classmate Parti Mayonnaise and will do anything to win her attention. IIJ'l ED TV (PG-13) Plus PATCH ADAMS (PG-131 THE MOD SQUAD (Rj-Plul - SHE'S ALL THAT (PG-13) FORCES OF NATURE (PG-13) Plui -STEPMOM (PG-1 3) THUE CRIME (R) - Plut - ANALYZE THIS (R) PAYBACK (R) - Plus - THE CORRUPTOR (R) BABY GENIUSES (PG) - Plut - THE KING AND IJG) THE RAGE; CARRIE 2 (R) Plut - THE FACULTY (R) CRUEL INTENTIONS (R) Plus - JAWBREAKER (R) 8MM (R) Plui I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID UST SUMMER (P.) 949-9451 or 222 FILM 041 McKELLIPS a HAYUfcN HD EDTV(PG-13)-Plu PATCH ADAMS (PG-13) THE MOO SQUAD (R) - Plm THE CORRUPTOR (R) TRUE CRIME (R) - Plut - ANALYZE THIS (R) THE KING AND I (G)-Plut- Academy Award Winner THE PRINCE OF EGYPT (PG) THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 (R) - Plut - THE FACULTY (R) CRUEL INTENTIONS (R) - Plut - BMM (R) ' ""J'l" IIMI 2,0 1 LSIiil BETHANY HUME HP 55TH J j&f to win? Because it's all about what Hollywood is about: acting, writing, directing and the power of romance. Roberto! Arizona Republic TV critic Dave Walker covered the back room at the Oscar ceremony, where winners are paraded through for a few quick questions, their answers to which are usually unprintable because they're so dull. Then, there's Roberto Benigni, Best Actor winner for Life Is Beautiful, whose name is now synonymous with leaping joy. "Dreams are a reality for artist," Benigni said. "If it's real, it's a dream. Now, I forgot the question." The question was, "How do you feel?" ' "Really, I don't deserve so much," he said. "I could dance a waltz." Do you ever calm down? "I was- really very proud for Italy," he said, describing the parties Pint-size' set should dig By Kathy Cano-Murillo The Arizona Republic Doug's 1st Movie is just like one of the kiddie rides at Disneyland: not exactly awe-inspiring for adults, but it becomes so when the little ones join in. Originally slated as direct to video, Doug's 1st Movie doesn't have the finest animation that Disney has to offer, but pint-size fans of the Saturday-morning scries won't seem to notice. And as long as parents don't mind a yawn or two and paying movie-theater admission prices for an expanded version of the series everyone will be happy campers. Doug's 1st Movie is a cute little flick for kids that delivers an elementary message about doing the right thing even if it means sacrificing your own personal needs. Beyond that, it doesn't differ much from the weekly Disney fllUh iiimtm'jIHmwmtiii'X- Mm cininE ma Lii WM5 r;,:;:' S11I1SEI EM C.E R RESTRICTED ttiii. MMSSZ -z. r s ---- . tCjSi -m'X- HARKINS I HAJUUNS II HARKINS II HARKINS II HAIWINS -JTllr-l METRO 12 LUKURV CMEMAS AfCtOHA MLLS LUXURY S4 CCMTDtPOWT LUXURY 11 CHRISTOWN LUXURY 1 1 SHEA LUXUHV 14 mmmUmrmml hitwltt M..IIU IhiLh M.UI IHI&lHiHMMiilvn Mil K IhliVMl'ly Hlfli Awnltc & Hiiilwiry Vwwillhnl anvl it Si.ittwMi Rlt f m9 Ptionnli 222 HAHKINS 124 Tempt 225-HAHK INS 1049 TlMPF 222 HAHKINS 901B Pholnix 22? HAHKINS 1018 ftiolladil 222 HARKINS 040 BiLJI uru utuilAL II life DKina a mm i nu II , mmmiuAi in II vrr. ittuiAi ihk II tm.ni itit HAI1KM8 II HAHKINS ll HABKua II AMC AMC AMC BELL TOWtH LUXURY S IOUTHWLST 8 lUPBWmOK mU LUXUHV AnBONACStTEn 94 AHWATUKEE 4 LAOOHA VILXAOB IO filwt A It" Ifcl llih Aviinitr llii-miir. lid mHBwIw Mri iM hfM IH Will Ifcim IfMn i n A i I Hi 4 Dm Mil W.M liny 1 KyitniB 11.1 Qlcndale 222 HAnKINS 01B PhoanlM 222 HAHKINS 026 Mala 222 HARKINS 4048 fhunlM 6r6 4AMC Amwatukik Ofttt 4AMC Chandlar 0R0-4AMC vn;i)K.nm II ninny mimii nm nmiiAt mx II cwittAt unmL esLiutN:, II bifiiiu AMC AMC II AMC II AMC ClWfi DAniBtTS UMrTTD AKtStS BELL PLAZA S DCER UALLEY 30 E9PLAMAOS! 14 PCSTA MLLACSf. EAST VALLEY MALL aCOTTBOALt: PMmJONS PhfM.nl, ShAAAMC Phonl 9oo 4AMC Pl.o.nl. Bf.6 4AM0 . M..a r,6 4AMC Chundlnt 7 12 0888 Sciill.il.i . 1181 -4200 .ii).'i iiu.iiAt II ititiiint etic.MtNH II ?wi;ni II liitnto II urn nv art hi u Mimii UNITED ARTISTS UNTTED ATTISTS PALM VALLEY 14 CCHTUV1Y CFNTURY ll H )K Tl( KI1S k SHI )WT IM1S SONOHA VILLAGE 10 VAL VISTA CHOSSINO no LIMI Hd OU3BA1I DmMI aKOTTSuALE 0 DPaVK-BI AAA P 1 'ScoU'ax""BW"."ioo' M,.":',',!;;"poo. x lSrio sr&iLirtar, CALl 222-HLM, PIT. nir.HAL 5llrit(Y nuiIlM II o ViaiT mw. ni..Uflu.kmm ft if ; going on in his country. "It's so full of joy of gladness of something so special. I have gratitude for the Italians. "Where I put the Oscar I don't know. I didn't plan about the put." How will the Oscar change him? "The change is good because of the happiness," he said. "When you remain little, you can watch the magnificence of the creation. I like to follow the same things I did." Gwyneth Paltrow, Best Actress winner for Shakespeare in Love, was more composed backstage than during her acceptance speech, which set an Oscar record for most tears shed and most people thanked. "If this movie makes a handful of children pick up a Shakespearean play, it was worth it," she said. When Life Is Beautiful won Best Foreign Language Picture, it was the llth time an Italian film has taken that honor, moving Italy into a tie with France, which has MOVIE REVIEW 'Doug's 1st Movie' DIRECTOR: Jim Jenkins. VOICES: Thomas McHugh, Fred Newman, Chris Phillips. RATING: G. - Dynamite Very Good Worth Seeing So-So Bomb scries: thin story lines decorated with charismatic voices and silly one-liners. Created by Nickelodeon in . 1991, Doug Funnie (Thomas Mcllugh) is a lovable character whom kids can relate to. He's just like a cartoon version of a young Jimmy Stewart: adorably goofy, extremely loyal and often unsure. And it's those three attributes that land Doug in the middle LD'JJJJ annn f i ) r, 1 I ' i illSIIIIiFiiESisffillllSBES inn mm mm smido STliA ?, , I'iUfil If Elill hi www.ingm.corri iji&iwitt3hitiliiirijjik.1a :;'. .. : t. 11: ) f ;. : 1 f 7 also won 1 1 'A Oscars. How did Italy and France manage half an Oscar? They tied (with each other, of course) in 1951, only the . third year the academy gave Oscars for foreign-language films, for The Walls of Malapaga, which the two countries produced together. For fans of obscure statistics, 4he World War II winners (Saving Private Ryan and Life Is Beautiful) . tied with the Flizabethans (Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth), 8-8, until you add in the Oscar for Best Documentary, The Last Days, which was about the Holocaust. Queen Elizabeth went one for two when Judi Dench won as Best Supporting Actress for playing the old queen in Shakespeare in Love but Cate Blanchett, who played the young queen in Elizabeth, lost out on Best Actress. Republic writer Dave Walker contributed to this story. 'Doug' of mayhem in his film debut. While on a quest to turn his secret crush on Patti Mayonnaise (Constance Shulman) into reality, Doug is sidetracked when his best bud discovers a monster living in a polluted lake a lake polluted by a factory that happens to be owned by the town's wealthiest and most ruthless businessman. he boys take the monster under their wing to hide him from the rich businessman's evil henchmen, who are out to destroy the cuddly creature. Doug happily battles the odds in order to save the town, set the monster free and still be able to become the apple of Patti 's eye. Think it seems like a lot to ask from an animated kid in junior high? Doug doesn't seem to think so, and neither will his fans. Doug's 1st Movie is rated G for all audiences. J Ginvnnm M id iz. i CH3 II

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