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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut • Page 69
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Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut • Page 69

Hartford Couranti
Hartford, Connecticut
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HIP llll THE HARTFORD COURANT: Friday, October 27, 1995 E5 Three Wishes' a heartwarming tale of family's struggle against hardships Sigourney Weaver, Dermot Mulroney and Holly Hunter track a serial killer in "Copycat." Melissa Moseley Warner Bros. A serial killer with a sense of history By MALCOLM JOHNSON CourantFilm Critic "Copycat," the thriller teaming Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter as a tall, withdrawn shrink and a short, aggressive cop, tightly weaves a nasty bag of tricks as a killer stalks San Francisco women. Two favorite movie subjects computers and serial murders play off each other in Jon Amiel's taut, stylish handling of a grisly, perverse but intelligent screeplay by Ann Biderman and David Mad-sen. What separates "Copycat" from many of the other serial killer sagas bloodying up movie screens of "late is Weaver's character, a criminal psychologist. Her Helen Hudson is a woman who knows too much about the ordinary-looking young men who make headlines with their homicides. Perhaps the most terrifying moment of "Copycat" comes early, in a lecture hall filled with eager faces. Weaver's in-control Hudson, chic in red suit, her strong-jawed face magnified on a huge screen, tells the men to stand. She asks older and younger ones, and minorities, to sit. A video camera spotlight picks out the faces that briefly flash ortthe screen, intercut with images of-real serial killers like clown-faced John Wayne Gacy. White males in their 20s and early 30s, men like these, make up the serial killer population of America, Hudson tells her students. During her lecture, Hudson momentarily loses her composure as she sees, or thinks she sees, a weirdly "grinning young man, pulling a finger across his throat. In a blink of an eye, he disappears. After the lecture ends, something terrible happens to Hudson during a visit to the women's room. In the next year she has become a recluse, an agoraphobic, terrified of open spaces, unable to leave her high-security apartment with its metal-sheathed door. Hudson, whose lectures and books on serial killers made her rich, now communicates with the outside world through the computers that squat on the desk downstairs in her du- By MALCOLM JOHNSON CourantFilm Critic With bits of "Where the Wild Things Are" and a whiff of "Ghost," "Three Wishes" casts Patrick Swayze as a bearded, leather-capped wayfaring stranger whose dog exudes a strange glow and whose philosophies prefigure the Beats and their passion for Zen. Yet even with these dangerously artsy touches, this Martha Coolidge film turns out to be a family film of surprising value. Set in a tacky tract of brand new ranches and split levels in the stifling, conformist this film written by Elizabeth Anderson from a story by producers Clifford and Ellen Green pits Swayze's free-spirited, symbolically named 'Jack McCloud against the narrow-minded town fathers and mothers. Allied with the wanderer are a single mom, endowed with wistful-ness and will by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and her two sons. The older boy, played with his customary ease and charm by Joseph Mazzello, needs a man like Jack to teach him baseball. The younger, cutely done by dough-faced Seth Mumy, communes both with Jack and his strange, gold-hued pooch. "Three Wishes" takes a long while to get to the meaning of its title, which is perhaps just as well. Along the way, Coolidge keeps us rooting for Jeanne Holman and her boys in their struggles against adversity. Mastrantonio's independent mom, who lost her flier husband in the air over Korea, must contend with those prejudiced against women in businesses like the one Jeanne is trying to start. It does not help that she has adopted Jack, who is fond of sunbathing in the buff, as her non-paying boarder when she ought to be concentrating on the attentions of a rich old beau. Maz-zello's Tom must learn to cope with pitchers and long, high flies. Little brother Gunny has the biggest problem of all, a fatal illness whose first letter is C. PM FIRST MATINEE ONLY SUNDAY HOLIDAYS CONTINUOUS SHOWS DAILY LATE SHOWS FRI 1 SAT Film review THREE WISHES, directed by Martha Coolidge; written by Elizabeth Anderson, based on a story by Clifford and Ellen Green; director of photography, Johnny E. Jensen; music composed by Cynthia Millar; production designer, John Vallone; special visual effects by Phil Tippett; edited by Stephen produced by Gary Lucchesl and the Greens; executive producer, Larry Albucher. A Savoy Pictures release, opening today at Showcase Cinemas In Berlin, East Hartford and East Windsor. Running time: 107 minutes. Jack McCloud Patrick Swayze Jeanne Holman Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Tom Holman Joseph Mazzello Gunny Holman Seth Mumy Phil David Marshall Grant Adult Tom Holman Michael O'Keefe Coach Schramka Jay O. Sanders Leland's Father John Diehl Sakin's Father Michael Laskln Excellent; Very Good; Good; Fair; ft Poor This last development proves somewhat troubling in a film that at first seems to be playing off "Ozzie and Harriet." A segment of television's weekly visit to that real but probably fake family is watched by the Holmans at one point, along with a clip from "King Kong." Coolidge obviously intends to warn us that while "Three Wishes" seems to be drawing a realistic portrayal of the Eisenhower years, fantasy will ultimately rule the heart of the film. At first, only the celestial sheen of the dog provides a clue. After a preamble, featuring Michael O'Keefe as the adult Tom, a husband and father who angrily departs on a vacation with his family after being hit with a professional calamity, "Three Wishes" cuts back to the '50s. Jeanne and Jack and the mutt are soon thrown together after the hitchhiker is injured by her car. Because she feels guilty about his traveling on with a broken foot, Jeanne invites Jack to bunk with her and the boys. Tongues wag. One especially disapproving observer is Jeanne's older sister, shrewishly done by Diane Venora (who hails from East Hartford). Jeanne's now well-to-do swain, played as an amiable '50s Film review COPYCAT, directed by Jon Amiel; written by Ann Biderman and David Madsen; director of photography, Laszlo Kovacs; music composed by Christopher Young; production designer, Jim Clay; edited by Alan Heim and Jim produced by Arnon Milchan and Mark Tarlov; executive producers, Michael Nathan-son and John Fiedler. A Warner Bros, release of a Regency Enterprises presentation of an Arnon Milchan Production, opening today at Showcase Cinemas, East Hartford, East Windsor and Berlin. Running time: 123 minutes. Helen Hudson Sigourney Weaver M.J. Monahan Holly Hunter Daryll Lee Cullum Harry Connick Jr. Ruben Goetz Dermot Mulroney Peter Foley William McNamara Nicoletti Will Patton Andy John Rothman Quinn J. E. Freeman Excellent; Very Good; Good; Fair; ft Poor plex. The once-confident doctor has become a pill-popper, an incessant sipper of cognac, a volatile neurotic whose only companion is a gay assistant. Hudson wants nothing more to do with the rest of humanity. But women are turning up dead all over San Francisco, and Hudson cannot resist phoning the police to offer her opinions. This brings two homicide detectives, working on the murders with no leads, into the lavishly furnished, darkened, creepy retreat Helen has made of her home. The hard-edged, smart, vaguely wistful M.J. Monahan, a woman with a different sort of competence as played by Holly Hunter, is the lead investigator. Dermot Mulroney lends quiet charm to her sidekick, Ruben Goetz, a man who just can't help attracting women. As more killings ensue, Hudson sees a pattern: The killer is copycat, imitating murders committed by the HRVEY KEITEL VICTOR ARCO LOU REED CIANCARLO ESPOSITO ROSEANNE MICHAEL FOX MIRA SORVINO MEL CORHAM LILY TOMLIN IM JARMUSCH MALIK YOBA A new comedy by WA.YNE WANG and PAUL AUSTER CINEMA CITY 235 BRAINARD RD HARTFORD 549-0030 CALL THEATRE FOR SHOWTIMES "ONE BLOCK PARTY YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS!" -Jay Carr, BOSTON GLOBE Babbitt by David Marshall Grant, also finds the living arrangements unpalatable. But Jack helps Tom conquer his fear of high flies and then makes the kid's entire team into budding DiMaggios. All of this proves upbeat, and only mildly Beat, but the Greens' story keeps pitching the otherworldly, special-effects stuff. At one point, little Gunny sees his room turning into something out of Maurice Sen-dak as the ceiling hangs with vines, though no ship happens by. The delicately drawn connections between Jack, Jeanne and Tom help to maintain the film's human scale. At last Jack also tells Gunny about the three wishes, one for each member of the family. Then, after the final bursts of fantasy, comes an ending that will leave parents and children alike with; tears of joy streaming down their cheeks. Fifties sentimentality makes a big comeback here, together with lessons about focusing on the important things in life all capped by a revelation that will have little mystics shivering with delight. Rated PG-13, this film contains some impolite talk and moments that might upset younger kiddies. a I win arrange low coat financing even If you've been turned down elsewhere. Loans available lor bankrupt, bad credit, no credit, previous repo, no cosigners, no credit check, no application lees It you have I your credit Is approved. Home of the $25" down deal. We are sensitive to credit problems and wi help you buy i new or used car or tuck, even those costing J5.6oO-S1S,000 or more, call Julie toll free at l-tOO-MMSU Stephen Chevrolet-Olds Rt. 10 Qranby, CT BriNBBfos Stallone's best film In years!" Joanna LanfneM, THE MOVIE MINUTE "Abullseyefor Slyl This Is the movie Stallone fans have been waiting for." "A fun thriller." Jaml Bernard, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ASSASSINS iBMflh JULIANNE MOORE NO PASSES Pfrll TMEEWIMa COPYCAT wuvMitRooon am mm PC-13 I I I PC-13 I THREE WISHES CtPRAT WWKIMOOUTI 9 1 II I 1 11 if; WSJ) Director 0t I3J Xlerktf Til likes of the Boston Strangler and the Son of Sam. Then, through her computer, she becomes dangerously intimate with the killer. About the only problem with "Copycat" is the early revelation of the murderer's identity. But this does not undo the suspense as the game between Hudson and the mad young man grows more and more unnerving. Amiel focuses tightly on Weaver's jittery but sardonic performance and on Hunter's canny detective, but Mulroney also plays a key role, most telling in a horrific plot twist. There are also strong supporting performances by leering, drawling Harry Connick Jr. as a messianic devotee of Hudson's work, by baby-faced William McNamara as Hudson's former student, and by Will Patton as a strange cop, Monahan's ex-lover. Working with Laszlo Kovacs as his director of photography, Amiel makes Hudson's apartment, with its profusion of electronic devices, from the glowing screens to the automated vertical blinds shutting out the sun, a hiding place more frightening than safe. With the film's shadowy lighting, its ingenious plotting and the pairing of a tense, shattered Weaver and a driven, fearless Hunter, Amiel sets out a serial killer drama that stands above the rest of the copycats. Rated this film contains vulgarities, nude victims, lots of blood and unnerving acts of mayhem, including the nightmarish torture that has made the good doctor a shut-in. P. BARGAIN MATINEES M0N-SAT UNTIL 6 NO PASSES AT STARRED () FEATURES ONLY K3 "TWO BIG THUMBS UP! ONE OF THE YEAR'S BEST FILMS." -Gene Siskel, SISKEL EBERT NICOLE KIDMAN TO DIE FOR All she wonted was a Ziffle attention, PfTI COLUMBIAFfi MMatatjaaMito SEVEN HOW TO MAKE Ml AMERICAN QUILT SET SHORTY NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS NOW AND THEN COPYCAT POWDER I PS-1J I Pfi-13 PfrU VAMPIRE BROOKLYN HHMMiMiaaMiiMMHnnManaMaBalHLai KU I TOOKFOR I ASSASMB I KABPREirrS row id mi mm own n-n IT WtiwgniBi 111 ii Hyjjm niy i mympim biiij wrni ttmsummi, ROWAHnO tEtSHonr KYBIIUTISniAKEn WUIIaTS UMfUJMMtaRIIW EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT, STARTS TODAY! HMm I MlfllSlW.tbnleMlMIM 1111 'THE BEST FAMILY FILM OF THE YEAR. JUST AS MUCH FUN FOR ADULTS." Steve "Patrick Swayze Gives His Most Charming And Romantic Performance Since 4Ghostm Kimberty Bontempo, KUSA-TV (NBC) DENVER Patrick Swayze Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Tl3REy'1SHES When you really believe, magic can find you. Oldfleld, FOX-TV Joseph Mazzello 0 nmuiwiu rWYiH I tf1 WAtXiAIMx ,) ttfa ATTatfl Aim i t-y fa- STARTS TODAY uva i TREMtAEa PS ASUSUK I KAiniEsaEirs ROW ID HUE AMCMCAI 9M.1 Pt-13 ROW AM ma KTsmrr KieiTMATiitniucai WUIATS RYSHER LMRTMOT mm a GARY UICCHESI'CLIFFORD ELLEN GREEN nooucrai afuhbyMARTHA COOLIDGE PATRICK SWAYZE MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO JOSEPH MAZZELLO THREE WISHES" SETH MUMY MICHAEL O'KEEFE E3SHELLEY KOMAROV "CYNTHIA MILLAR "ASSPH1 TIPPETT STEWi COHEN, lcl "KJOHN VAIiONE SKJOHNNY I JENSEN, uc SS KEITH SAMPLES LARRY ALBUCHER CLIFFORD 4 ELLEN GREEN GREEN ELLEN GREEN GARY LUCCHESI "5 MARTHA COOLIDGE cJ juAjl SffaBj iiilDCTjvf BflSBBM a inTO3T1W N-ll I I I K-l) I TtlrEt WSMS CffTCAr HNKK MMKLrl MESS IPOjMBrKlaaNCI KMC iitiirtrir I I I I KMOIEai Atmmetsemmmia. U2 mm sEva N3 R0WAMTU1 (ETWOinT KYH TW T6JTVAKERS IAUMTS THE IK BEEI ASSASSM I HOW TOMIEU MEKM QIAU K-t) JAH I wtsiinma KM I IUJE

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