Lyle Jensen is subject to sudden and violent outbursts, and he is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution. Several other youths are there with a variety of ... See full summary »
Matt Cunningham is a thirteen-year-old whiz kid from Los Angeles who's completely absorbed by his laptop computer. Preferring his travels on the information highway, Matt is dismayed to ... See full summary »
[after Tony has tied Jane to a chair]
Tony, why are you doing this?
You asked me to.
No, I mean why are you looking after me?
Yeah, but why you?
I ain't got nothing better to do.
[points to her TV]
Does this thing work?
[stares at Tony]
My guardian angel.
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Tackling the AIDS issue on film is no longer something new or novel. In fact, many independent films of the 90's have tried, in varying degrees of success, to hone in on the horrific and mysterious ramifications of this terrible disease. Sweet Jane, which inexplicably has just now been made available on cable TV, is one of the winners. Perhaps realizing the limited appeal of this heartrending genre, director Joe Gayton goes for broke, but certainly not in an over-the-top fashion. He gamely depicts the desperate world of junkies, prostitutes and have-nots, but finds time to flesh out the human element in all of the moral decay. He occasionally inserts an otherworldly feel to the more sordid proceedings, effectively producing a counter-element to the more mundane (yet essential) exposition. Samantha Mathis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are simply wonderful as the mutually put-upon protagonists of this subtly powerful film. Mathis realizes the potential that we saw in "Pump up the Volume" a few years back, and Gordon-Levitt exhibits surprisingly mature chops for such a young actor. 4 and a half (out of 5) on the Corkymeter.
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