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1997 Stories by Michael Sragow

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Building the Perfect Beast

    published December 11, 1997

    Movie special-effects maestro Phil Tippett has won billowing praise for the jaw-dropping digital transformations that turned models of alien bugs... More >>

  • Coppola v. Grisham

    published November 27, 1997

    John Grisham's The Rainmaker lulls you into the mindset you get while reading a bestseller at the beach. What a sad thing to say about a Francis... More >>

  • For Love and Money

    published November 13, 1997

    Put brutally, The Wings of the Dove is the story of a romantic frameup that backfires. Thankfully, nothing is put brutally in this smart, lyrical... More >>

  • Bored to the Core

    published November 13, 1997

    Writer-director Mike Figgis has mastered a kind of style I usually mistrust: Jumpy and almost free-associative, it begs to be dubbed "arty." At... More >>

  • Media Cool

    published November 6, 1997

    Mad City, a descendant of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, may irritate orthodox movie buffs. In the coruscating Wilder classic, Kirk Douglas's... More >>

  • Ugly Americanization

    published October 30, 1997

    Despite its muckraking pretensions, Red Corner is a rickety throwback to escapist adventures that featured beautiful foreign idealists spouting... More >>

  • Something Bugs You

    published August 21, 1997

    When the beautiful entomologist rips open the chest cavity of a huge, bloodthirsty insect in the sci-fi nightmare Mimic, it turns into Thoracic... More >>

  • A Conspiracy That's for Real

    published August 7, 1997

    Jerry Fletcher, the hero of Conspiracy Theory, is a comic, glamorous variation on Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Like Travis, he's a New York... More >>

  • Flunking Out

    published July 31, 1997

    187, a number favored by adolescent thugs, is the California state penal code for homicide--and a harsh sentence for all involved in this... More >>

  • Muscle Bound

    published July 3, 1997

    Slapstick decadence is the dominant style at the Disney studios this summer, reaching all the way from Touchstone Pictures' action hit Con Air to... More >>

  • Taming Leo

    published May 1, 1997

    When Masterpiece Theatre aired a multi-part Anna Karenina to mark the novel's centennial in 1977, series producer Joan Sullivan said, "I think... More >>

  • Prisoners of Bore

    published April 24, 1997

    No one has exploited the historical-epic form better than David Lean. At his peak, he used its spaciousness and breadth to develop characters with... More >>

  • Boot Camp

    published April 10, 1997

    Could the release of a three-and-a-half-hour director's cut of the 1982 nautical spectacular Das Boot reflect some mass Oedipal desire to get... More >>

  • Still a Killer

    published March 20, 1997

    I spent the 68th anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre watching The Godfather with the new soundtrack prepared for its 25th anniversary.... More >>

  • Ewok, Don't Run

    published March 13, 1997

    In Return of the Jedi, the last chapter of the Star Wars trilogy, an intergalactic window display of creepy and cuddly critters upstages the human... More >>

  • Full Force

    published February 20, 1997

    Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, the continuation of George Lucas's Star Wars, is a classic fantasy in its own right. I vastly prefer it... More >>

  • A Soft Touch

    published February 20, 1997

    Elmore Leonard's Touch is identified on the paperback as a mystery and carried in stores next to Leonard's celebrated crime novels (like Get... More >>

  • The Prehistory of Conan

    published February 13, 1997

    Robert E. Howard, the subject of Dan Ireland's wonderful debut film The Whole Wide World, created the sword-and-sorcery genre with his Conan... More >>

  • The Force Is Almost With You

    published January 30, 1997

    At a twenty-year remove, Star Wars comes off less as the work of a wizard than as the weird obsessive outgrowth of an eccentric American... More >>

  • Not a Pretty Picture

    published January 23, 1997

    When an incredulous Jane Campion fan asked what I hated about Campion's version of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, I immediately responded,... More >>

  • Past Perfect

    published January 2, 1997

    For people who grow up loving movies, returning to old favorites can be as jarring and illuminating as blowing the dust off a family photo album.... More >>

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996