Beyond Rangoon

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Kim Williamson

"The trip was Andy's idea," says American physician Laura Bowman (Patricia Arquette) of the plan by her sister (Frances McCormand) to help Laura escape her domestic tragegy (husband and son murdered) by bringing her to Burma in August 1988 for some rest. "She meant well." Instantly, Laura becomes caught up in that time's countrywide protest against a brutal military regime and finds herself fleeing for Thailand with dissident professor named U Aung Ko (played by Bur-mese expatriate actor U Aung Ko), students, monks and other innocents as government soldiers try to kill all of them before they reach the border.

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Desperado

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Lael Loewenstein

"Desperado" is such a fun, exhilarating film and its star, Antonio Banderas, so stunningly photographed in every frame that this movie might do for his American career what "Legends of the Fall" did for Brad Pitt. In this follow-up to Robert Rodriguez's no-budget wonder "El Mariachi," Banderas takes over the lead with gusto. As the black-garbed, guitar-toting Mariachi, he plunges headlong into the dark underworld of a Mexican border town ruled by the druglord Bucho (Joaquim de Almeida). No sooner has he arrived at the local saloon than he's confronted with hostile fire. Opening his guitar case, he unleashes a hailstorm of bullets with astonishing speed.

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The Show

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Sean O'Neill

   Ever since the late '80s ascendance of the gangsta school of rap music, enquiring minds have wondered just how true to life the genre's lyrics really are. Are gangsta rappers, as the late Eazy-E of NWA once said, really "street reporters," or are they merely money-hungry entertainers exploiting the American public's insatiable taste for sex and violence, as Ice-T has always maintained? If Brian Robbins "rapumentary" is any indication, the answer is both, but closer to the former than the latter. Toward "The Show's" front, when Treach of Naughty by Nature says that "if not for rap, I'd probably be in your house right now...

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Nadja

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Sean O'Neill

   Like life, film plots run in cycles: a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to reap, a time to sow, a time to make vampire movies, a time to not make vampire movies. "Nadja" is not a bad little vampire film, but it suffers from a disastrous case of bad timing. In the wake of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "Interview with the Vampire," the potential bloodsucker audience is likely about tapped out for now, and neither writer/director Michael Almereyda nor star Elina Lowensohn bring enough to the mix to make this indie black-and-white flick stand out in a saturated marketplace.    Almereyda works hard. In his own precious, consciously grungy way (he shoots vampire visions in the sublimely low-tech Pixelvision), Almereyda tries to put a hip spin on the shopworn Dracula vs.

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Lord Of Illusions

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Christine James

   From the filmmaker who brought us "Hellraiser" comes..."Hellraiser 0.5: Heckraiser." "Lord of Illusions" disappoints severely in the thrills and chills department. Nix (Daniel Von Bargen), a villainous satanic sect leader resurrected from the dead, is much more revolting than scary, unless you deem oozing pustules terrifying. Though formulaic camera angles and jolting chords of music will still make audiences jump out of reflex, there's nothing authentically frightening about this film, its premise or any of its characters.    Scott Bakula as private investigator-turned-ghostb...

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Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey

Add Comment on August 25, 1995 by Rick Schultz

   "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey" is one of the most magical documentaries ever made. Anyone familiar with films like "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Lost Weekend" and "Spellbound," or with the 1966 Beach Boys' single "Good Vibrations," knows the eerie sound of the musical instrument called the theremin. But the life of its inventor, a Russian emigre professor named Leon Theremin, has remained virtually unknown until now, with filmmaker Steven M. Martin's tender, dramatic, sometimes suspenseful and always astonishing documentary. Martin shows how Theremin influenced the course of popular and political culture.

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Mortal Kombat

Add Comment on August 18, 1995 by Jon Matsumoto

   The popular "Mortal Kombat" is based not on a work of literature or even an old TV show, but on an arcade game and an animated video. So it's not surprising to find that this teen- and male-targeted flick is an utterly fantastic vehicle for splashy special effects and broadly painted cartoon characters. "Mortal Kombat" is kind of like an amalgamation of a Bruce Lee martial arts film, a medieval adventure movie and a kitschy, doomsday science fiction work. A metaphysical examination of the human condition it is not.    Aided by a throbbing techno-rock soundtrack, the film exudes an undeniable energy. By injecting moments of wry if uncomplicated humor, director Paul Anderson shows a commendable willingness to poke fun at the film's over-the-top premise and predilections.

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