29 November 1994 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »



Just in time for the holidays is "Love and a .45", a twisted look at love and violence, American style. Presumably, Trimark hopes that dysfunctional families thinking about murder while carving their turkeys will flock to this exploitation item as an antidote to the usual holiday fare. That is doubtful, and the inevitable comparisons with "Natural Born Killers", of which this is a low-rent version, won't help.

C.M. Talkington's debut feature does show some flair (although it pales stylistically compared with Oliver Stone's audacious work), and the writer-director does display some verve in his camera work and dialogue.

The violence is gratuitous and excessive, and will probably be the film's biggest draw (HR 11/28).-- Frank Scheck


Warner Bros.

Ty Cobb, arguably the greatest baseball player ever, held 40 Major League and American League batting records upon his retirement, and he still holds the highest career batting average of .367. As we're finding out in this age of tabloid journalism, athletes often have a sorrier average as humans.

Filmmaker Ron Shelton presents Tyrus Raymond Cobb with all his personal warts and shortcomings in this sharp-breaking and crackling film. Admittedly, the depiction of such a cantankerous and often contemptible figure makes "Cobb" a tough sell.

Distilling the writings of sports writer Al Stump, whose demythologizing book "Cobb: A Biography" is winning rave reviews, screenwriter and former second baseman Shelton has not served up a baseball movie, but rather a look at the last furious days of a man who had achieved professional greatness at a ferocious personal cost.

As Cobb, Tommy Lee Jones' performance is as formidable as a sharpened pair of spikes. It's an explosive mix of grit and grace, an in-your-face portrayal perfectly fitting for this tarnished "Georgia Peach" (HR 11/28).-- Duane Byrge


Buena Vista

Keenen Ivory Wayans steps out as L.A.'s latest shamus, a dude named Shame, who careens down the nasty streets of shady drug lords, corrupt cops and shapely sisters. A lowbrow raunchy treat, this Buena Vista release should shake down some decent change from folks tired of monsters, Santas and intergalactic nerds.

Raucously cartoonish, "A Low Down Dirty Shame" follows the gumshoe plot map of a down-on-his-luck private dick who walks a not-so-fine line, hemmed in on one side by the police force he was booted from and tormented on the other side by the bad guys, who've not only sullied his rep but stolen his squeeze.

Not gumming up the tone with needless subtlety, nor confounding the plot by filling in its gaping holes, nor rounding off its stereotypical characters with sensitive finesse, screenwriter-director Wayans has served up a fast-hopping action-comedy (HR 11/23).-- Duane Byrge

Other reviews

Also reviewed last week was the film "Resistance" (HR 11/28).

(c) The Hollywood Reporter

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