Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on September 17, 1993 · Page 177
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · Page 177

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Friday, September 17, 1993
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Friday J Section 7 Chicago Tribune, Friday, September 17, 1993 Continued From Preceding Page struggles, giving the film appeal for adults as well as children. PG. THE JOY LUCK CLUB (Fine Aits). A superior adaptation of Amy Tan s best-seller about young Chinese-American women and their : mothers, who typically transfer the way they were dominated by their husbands into control of their daughters. What is special about the film is the way it juggles multiple characters, generations, and scenes in both China and Amenca. And for a commencal Hollywood feature, director Wayne Wang maintains a surpnsngly hard emotional edge, not getting all fuzzy at the end. The film undoubtedly will speak to mothers and daughters of any nationality. R. JURASSIC PARK (Bumham Plaza, Chestnut Station and outlying). A rousing Steven Spielberg adventure that is limited only by the lackluster human characters who surround the truly impressive special effects dinosaurs. The thrill sequences here are the equivalent of those in "Jaws," but the humans are not. A team of scientists is invited to a billionaire s nature park to witness his amazing creation cloned dinosaurs. When greed gets in the way, the creatures are on the loose and on attack. The resulting fury is too intense for children under the age " of, say, 10, but others should find it exciting. What's missing is a sense of awe. And only Jeff Goldbkim's skeptical mathematician has the sort of intelligence that could have made this film truly special. PG-1 3. "n nnmnnf? ll Llll UU LiUU LL Lai u u fi fe1 mm" Js'tfr y BaiiiiJ fcWilMMpJI. I l',fy r mmmm J f MIMMIIIIMlim-l. .KliTi IMliiiilTUIlllf E NOW SHOWING McClURS COURT Near North 312-642-0723 WEBSTER PLACE Near North 312 327-3100 UNCOLN VILLAGE North 312604-4747 BURNHAM PLAZA Near South 312922 1090 FORD CITY EOENS South Norlhbrook 312-582 IBM 70B-498-7668 HYDE PARK TOflKTOWH South Lombard 312 288 4900 708 495 0010 EVANST0N NORRIOGE Evanslon Norndpe 708 864-4900 708-462-9000 GOLF MILL W000FIELD Nilea Schaumburg 708 296 4500 701619-1620 For ihnwtlmes call theatres Ssw-aQBai KAUFORNIA (Biograph, Esquire and outlying). A couple of young artists a wnter and a photographer who are lovers decide to combine their talents in a book about serial killers. They will drive cross-country and visit sites of murders. The subject becomes less abstract, however, when the couple they decide to take along with them to share expenses turns out to contain a murderous thug. Brad Pitt plays the killer named Early, who has a tag-along teenager , played by thumb-sucking Juliette Lewis from "Cape Fear." This secret is kept from the two young journalists until they themselves are in jeop- : ardv. Pitt is a standout as the blunt killing machine; Lewis is borderline mannered as his juvenile consort. Director Dominic Sena has a good eye. having been trained in music videos and commercials, and Instinctively offers a fresh view of familiar situations. R. KING OF THE HILL (Fine Arts). Steven Soder-berghs "King of the Hill" is a magnificent piece of episodic filmmaking that builds a mosaic of lives truly at nsk in the Depression. At Its center, this is a child's story, the reminiscence of A.E. Hotchner of growing up poor in a St. Louis hotel room with his younger brother, ill mother and stem father. Young Aaron Kurlander (12-year-old Jesse Bradford in a nch performance that deserves ; Oscar consideration) will end up on his own as his brother is sent to relatives to save on living expenses, his mother is confined to a clinic for tuberculosis, and his dad hits the road as a door-to-door watch salesman. Di- nmmami mi mum 'EBB irW'KistiBiiy f ' Vf ' Mil nii!iiis2iai3sa las Ki'.-UIIHliii,w!, &mKnirtt It :- mi4tttbwNm-(nRfMMt5WirtKir V - if GROVE ' STRATFORD SQUARE GRIFFITH PARK Downers Grove - Bloomingdale Grillith. IN 708 852-4440 " 708-351-9610 219-923-4300 TOWN a COUNTRY HILLSIDE SQUARE DOUBLE DRIVE-IN Arllnglon Heights Hillside . Chicago 708 255-4000 708 5476001 312-925-9600 WESTERN HEIGHTS ORLAND SQUARE BEL AIR DRIVE-IN Chicago Heights ' Orland Park Cicero 7UB 747 ri80Q 708-349-6000 " 708-656-3800 EVERGREEN CHICAGO RIDGE MALL TWIN DRIVE-IN -. Evergreen Park Chicago Ridge Wheeling 708 636-8800 708-423 3301 708-5371222 RIVER OAKS MERRILIVM.LE Calumet City . ' MerrlHville. IN ami ool.,.,,..0 i 708-868-3400 ; 219 947-4072 mWVTVT7Tl or check Individual Ihealre ads . Siskel's Flicks Picks rector Soderbergh re-establishes himself as a major talent without genre limits. In the very smallest scene he can make a game of marbles seem almost as exciting as that train wreck in "The Fugitive." Quite simply, "King of the Hill" is one of the year's best movies, a family story that will challenge both adults and older children. PG-13. LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE (Fine Arts and outlying ). A fresh, mystical, Mexican film about how one young woman struggles against a tight family tradition that would deny her the love of her life in favor of caring for her older mother. Transferring her passion into the food she makes, she achieves a nobility that is intoxicating. A most original film. Subtitles. R. MAN WITHOUT A FACE (McClurg Court, Webster Place and outlying). Mel Gibson plays a seriously disfigured teacher with a troubled past who tries to reclaim his self-respect by tutoring a youngster from a troubled home. The setting is a coastal town in Maine where Gibson, with one side of his face badly scarred from bums, lives as a recluse, coming out to shop only after regular store hours. In another part of town lives a boy (Nick Stahl) whose mother is a serial divorcee. The kid wants to get away from all the tumult by going away to military school, and he asks Gibson to tutor him for the entrance exam. The story is full of good feelings, but as one sits there it all seems so predictable that you can't help but ask the point of it all. PG-13. If Iffy MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (Water - Tower, Webster Place and outlying). Woody Allen's light-as-a-feather "Manhattan Murder Mystery" is precisely the kind of urbane comedy Allen would have made years ago if he hadn't turned "serious." His nebbish caricature returns, only to be embroiled by his curious wife (Diane Keaton) in a whodunit surrounding the possible murder of a neighbor's wife. The two couples live in the same Manhattan co-op, and Allen reluctantly agrees to stop by the neighbor's apartment for a visit. The plot thickens when Allen and Keaton are told that the neighbor's sweet wife has died of a heart attack. Something doesn't seem right to Keaton, who spends the rest of the movie pulling a reluctant Allen along for a due-filled ride. "Manhattan Murder Mystery" LOEWS PIPERS ALLEY 1608 N. WELLS 312642-7800 BQUSIVfEHSa6EMEIIT FIII.inH.IHll: 0 10. 110 1 0 10PM SAT-SUN: 1:10. 3 10. 6:10. 7:109:10 PM FOR TICKETS CALL: J1252-LOEWS STARTS TODAY Cicero OLYMPIC Desdilnet 0ES PLAINES Owners Grove ..OTIV0U Elk Grove OELK GROVE Elmhursl ....... OtDRK - Clen Ellyn OGIEN Glenwood ...... OGLENW000 Hanover Park. , . . OTRA0EWINDS Chicago: North... ...ODWIS Northwest.... PORTAGE Neir North .0 VILLAGE Benunvillo . .OBENSENVILLE Highland Park . . . Bridgeview . . . OHARLEM C0RNER8 Hoffman Estates , OPrestnledm tPl pomvsnntol WHEN IN I FLORIDA VISIT is of absolutely no consequence save for the regular laughs it provides. PG. MENACE II SOCIETY (Pipers Alley and outlying). A brilliant film of despair, tracking the same emotional turf as "Boyz N the Hood," as we follow the development of a young African-American from Watts who Is bom into a violent world and plays out a predictable role in it as well. We root for him to triumph over tremendous odds, knowing that it isn't likely to occur. If this sounds too downbeat to be entertaining, you haven't seen the exceptional filmmaking skills of the Hughes brothers, 21-year old twins who trained themselves on video cameras. R. THE METEOR MAN (outlying). Robert Town-send's lackluster attempt at creating a funky black superhero. He plays an inner-city schoolteacher who Is transformed into a caped crusader after being radiated by a magical meteor. The comic action scenes in which he combats local drug dealers are weak. And that's about all there is to the film. PG. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (3 Penny). Kenneth Branagh's earnest adaptation of Shakespeare's serious cOmedy about love is un- , done by, of all things, Branagh's enthusiasm . for this material to be joyful. He practically busts through the screen in an effort to please. His wife, Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, is more restrained as his duelling lover - and creates a more credible character. PG-13. ' NEEDFUL THINGS (outlying). The latest Stephen King thriller on film. A well-told but aggressively and needlessly foul-mouthed morality play about the devil coming to a small town and stirring up hate. Max von Sydow plays Satan, who has opened an antiques store on the Maine coast. Makes sense. Haven't you always wondered what antiques dealers do during those long waits for customers? Von Sydow sets neighbor against neighbor with bribes of desirable antiques. If .he really were the, devil, however, he '. wouldn't even need that. The film is well-shot, but the violence and language are truly repulsive. R. ORLANDO (Pipers Alley). A beautifully made film that works better as an English history lesson than as a feminist tract, telling the story of an upper-class male character whose life spans 400 years and changes gender. We get the point about the subservience of women early; what surprises is the economical way in which director Sally Potter adapts Virginia Woolfs novel and harpoons the petty preoccupations of English society through the ages. Not rated. POETIC JUSTICE (Village and outlying). A meandering but ultimately effective love story from writer-director John Singleton, featuring Janet Jackson as an embittered young woman, wary of men, who has seen a boy- , friend gunned down. She reconnects with her good heart after being romanced by a postal worker on a road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Jackson is just okay as an actress; the real star is Tupac Shakur as the young mailman with a good heart. R. THE REAL McCOY (Water Tower and outlying). A bank robbery picture that only works when Kim Basinger is doing her cat burglar routine. v It turns out she has a grudge against other thieves who help put her away in the big . house for six years, and she will scheme to get even. The non-robbery scenes are worthless in an attempt to give her a real character with real problems, including a son PICTURES PRESENTS focus mmiimDn' ii:iivi!T( rmus Dimuit, mc emmranncniMiir La Grange .... OLA GRANGE Lombard .....ONORTHGATE Morion Grow .OM0RT0N GROVE Napertille CiGOEN.6 Oak Park..... OLAKE Park Forest... OCENTRE CINEMA Park Ridge ...O PICKWICK ThilBy Park ...OBREMEN Villa Park .... VILLA PARK Wheaton OWHEAT0N . OHIGHLAN0 PARK . .BARRINGTON SQ. 6 ' Check individual theatre ads for show times. -Hocus UtafttsnWorW, she never knew. PG-13. RISING SUN (Chestnut Station, Webster Place and outlying). A confused and confusing thriller based on Michael Crichton's best seller that tried to plumb the bitter rivalry between American and Japanese cultures. '" The film version has been defanged and turned into a messy cop buddy picture with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes as Los Angeles detectives trying to solve a murder In a Japanese corporate boardroom. While scratching one's head at the storyline, you'll have time to notice that none of the Japanese characters is compelling and that Connery and Snipes banter much like countless other cop partners. A major disappointment from first-class director Philip Kaufman. R. SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER (3 Penny, Water Tower and outlying). Joe Mantegna stars as the father of a gifted child (Max Pomeranc) who is soon beating him at chess, easily. He decides to expose the kid to a master tutor (Ben Kingsley) who is lured out of retirement much like Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid." And although the form of the film follows the tradition of the "big game" finale, the freshness in "Searching for Bobby Fischer" is the joy that the boy communicates while playing well. Steve Zaillian, a noted screenwriter ("The Falcon and the Snowman"), does a solid job of directing his first film. PG. THE SECRET GARDEN (Esquire, 3 Penny and outlying). A marvelous, mature adaptation of the children's classic about an orphaned English girl whose life is transformed by playing together with other less fortunate children in an abandoned garden. What makes this treatment work so well is the adult cast, including Maggie Smith, which communicates a real sense of jeopardy for the young girt so that the garden becomes a sanctuary. Directed by world-class filmmaker Agnieska Holland ("Europa, Europa"). G. SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (Water Tower and outlying). An unabashedly simple romantic idea for a film that relies totally on the appeal of its two stars, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and our desire to see them happy together. The author, Nora Ephron, gives us a lame heroine (Ryan) trapped in a standard bad movie engagement to a materialistic dolt. She decides to pursue an alternative love (Hanks) after she listens to him on a national call-in shrink radio show. He's a recent widower who misses his perfect wife. ; And that's the whole movie. The only gimmick is that she's in Baltimore, and he's in , Seattle. So they have to meet and tall in love on sight and then there are problems : i and then. Ryan and Hanks are nothing if ! not attractive. And both appear to have good . hearts. But they could have handled a more . complicated story. And so could we. PG. . SON-IN-LAW (outlying). Pauly Shore of MTV - fame may be the most obnoxious performer in the movies today. Forget "maybe"; he is. And yet we're supposed to root for his char, acter-a cool California college student as he - , transforms a hick farm girl Into a trendy young woman. No way. Shore visits her on the farm and ridicules her family. His flsh-out-of-water high jinks are no match for those in "City Slickers." PG-13. STRICTLY BALLROOM (outlying). A crowd-i pleasing Australian musical, set in the '50s, f about the Intense world of competitive ballroom dancing. Packed with pompous characters who run the contest, the film turns out to be a conventional love story between two unlikely contestants a working class girl . and a rebellious guy. PG. STRIKING DISTANCE (Biograph, Esquire and outlying). A dismal repackaging of familiar cop picture elements with Bruce Willis as a feisty detective assigned to Pittsburgh . shore patrol duty, saddled with how's this for a fresh idea? a female partner! Sarah Jessica Parker plays the babe du lour trying to help Willis capture the creep who killed his detective father. Nothing is what It seems here, as the script plays fast and loose with the audience's reasonable right to have a ' chance at guessing what's going on. Boring boat chases abound. R. TRUE ROMANCE (Broadway, Bumham Plaza, Esquire and outlying). A stupid, stylized road picture about a couple of trendies (Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette) on the run from murdering drug dealers. They meet as arranged lovers but they fall in love on the ; highway. This is warmed-over material given a superheated but mindless visual treatment by director Tony Scott ("Top Gun"). THE WEDDING BANQUET (Fine Arts). A marvelous comedy of manners about a gay Chinese-American man who masquerades as a ; heterosexual, even to the extent of getting married to a woman, in order to please his visiting, old-world mother and father from i Taiwan. Containing more than Just laughs, the script is rich enough to create a depth to each of Its characters. One of the year's best films. Not rated, but for adults. Va More flicks SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (outlying). More than a half-century after it was completed, Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" remains a lustrous, wondrous adventure in the movies. The splendor of the storybook backgrounds, the personality quirks drawn Into each and every character, and the Incredibly detailed design of such ephemoral items as shadows and raindrops are all marvels of invention that time and advanced technology have not dimmed., G. (Reviewed by . Richard Christiansen,) iVi'mv t

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