Supercop (Police Story 3) (1992)

“You killed my master!  Now, you die!”<primal screech of rage, followed by loud slapping noises> –a very brief summary of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, taken from A. Magazine’s Eastern Standard Time   Movie reviews tend to be inspired by things like stunning cinematography, superb performances, and unforgettable story lines.  There are exceptions.  This particular […]

Naked (1993)

  Johnny: “And what is it what goes on in this postmodernist gas chamber? Night Watchman:  “Nothing.  It’s empty.” Johnny:  “So what is it you guard, then?” Night Watchman:  “Space.” Johnny:  “You’re guarding space?  That’s stupid, isn’t it?  Because someone could break in there and steal all the f—– space and you wouldn’t know it’s […]

Smoke Signals (1998)

“Some days it’s a good day to die; some days it’s a good day to play basketball.”—Victor Joseph Grim and grimmer.  That pretty much sums up most stories about Native people that make it into the media.  Just recently, an international report compared the Canadian government’s treatment of the Innu of Labrador to that of […]

Dark City (1998)

The urchins are writhing around in the mud, Like eels playing tag in a barrel The old Sally Army sound mournful and sweet As they play an old Chrssmassy carol; The world is as black as a dark night in hell What kind of a place can this be?           –Richard Thompson, “The Sun Never […]

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Eat crow, Panio.  You rented Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter (1997) in order to bury him, and instead you’re forced to spend this entire column praising him.  It’s so unfair.  Whatever happened to the old Atom, the director who was so sure of his omniscience that he fixed all his characters in elegant cinematic phrases […]

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Somewhere in the Kootenays.  The Mad Film Critic is alone in his study.  His graying hair spikes upward as if he’s permanently wired to a Van de Graaff generator.  He pounds his computer keyboard in frustration, unable to create the brilliant review of James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein that he needs to meet his deadline […]

Window to Paris (1993)

If your face is lopsided,                     don’t blame the mirror. –Russian proverb   You can like a video store that gets you the latest Academy Award winners or the most recent Jackie Chan flick.  You love a video store that also stocks the highest-grossing Russian comedy of 1993.  That’s what I call service.  Thanks, Darcy […]

Brazil (1985)

Sam Lowry:  Excuse me, Dawson, can you put me through to Mr. Helpmann’s office? Dawson:  I’m afraid I can’t sir.  You have to go through the proper channels. Sam Lowry:  And you can’t tell me what the proper channels are, because that’s classified information? Dawson:  I’m glad to see the Ministry’s continuing its tradition of […]

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

“While the law [of competition] may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.” –Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth, 1889 There is no shortage of exotic places for tragedies to play out.  Castles in Denmark and Scotland for Hamlet […]