1 item from 1997
BATMAN & ROBIN
Batman and Robin are a dynamic duo in this latest entry from the Warner Bros. franchise, thanks chiefly to the charismatic performance of George Clooney as the leather-suited hero.
With a plot line that seemingly careens all over Gotham and enough lead characters to fill a city borough, this latest outing is overambitious in its plottings. It's the visuals that are the star, courtesy of former window dresser Joel Schumacher, whose smart eye invigorates a somewhat lackluster scenario.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a percussive villain in the film -- his eyes glazed and his muscles flexing. Uma Thurman stands out as Dr. Pamela Isley (a k a Poison Ivy), while Alicia Silverstone is winningly fetching in her role as Batgirl (HR 6/16).
20th Century Fox
"Speed 2: Cruise Control" is slow.
The story never gets out of first gear and it doesn't have Sandra Bullock do any behind-the-wheel heroics. In short, it completely misses the boat as a sequel, not using the whammy charm of Bullock's erratic in the original.
The writing is just plain drab, and the action sequences up to a big-crash finale are limited mainly to running through ship hallways.
Director Jan De Bont, who so wonderfully infused the original with a dynamic pace, has not energized this hulk to any emotional height. His tight, straight-on shooting deflates, rather than charges, this actioner (HR 6/12).
The hero of Greek mythology with the "ripping pectorals" is a perfect choice for Disney's newest animated effort, a vast improvement over the lugubrious history lesson of "Pocahontas" and the turgid melodrama of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame".
Boasting the usual superb animation, the humor one expects from the creators of "Aladdin" and a wonderful villain as voiced by entertaining James Woods, "Hercules" will delight adults as much as children. The heroes and villains of Greek mythology turn out to be a wonderful opportunity for both the animators and the screenwriters to flex their imaginations as well as offering the flexibility to provide generous doses of humorous pop culture references.
It should do excellent business, although one shouldn't look for a blockbuster of "The Lion King" proportions (HR 6/13-15).
MY BEST FRIEND'S
Julia Roberts doesn't walk down the aisle in "My Best Friend's Wedding", but she'll sure leave plenty of boxoffice bouquets for Sony in this mainstream romancer. A bittersweet, modern-love morsel, this scrumptious drama should touch moviegoers' hearts in an action-gorged summer.
While the plot line has some unsettling pitfalls, this contemporary comedy sparkles with some shrewd insights into the pitfalls of women who are too sophisticated for their own good.
1 item from 1997
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