The Net

Add Comment on July 28, 1995 by Kim Williamson

   What computer analyst Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) yearns for is a man who is "Captain America meets Albert Schweitzer." What the reclusive woman--she performs all her hacking at her Venice, Calif. canal home for her large corporate client, San Francisco-based Cathedral Systems--finds when she ventures out for her first vacation in six years is a cold-blooded killer (British stage actor Jeremy Northam) and police pursuing her, with worldwide economic catastrophe looming to boot. The reason: She's unwittingly come into possession of a secret disk that would reveal a plot by a group of Internet anarchists called the Praetorians who want to collapse the social order.

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Waterworld

Add Comment on July 28, 1995 by Kim Williamson

   Perhaps $200 million later, the question everyone is likely asking is, Will "Waterworld" make its money back? Based on its final narrative quality, the answer is, Probably not. But not for lack of trying. As director Kevin Reynolds displayed in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," he knows how to direct action sequences, and "Waterworld" is filled with some fabulous physical moments. Unfortunately, as Reynolds displayed in the (perhaps underappreciated) "Rapa Nui," he has a tin ear for narrative. When pirate Smokers--led by the Deacon (Dennis Hopper)--attack the floating fortress of the modestly more peaceful Atollers, for example, you see where much of the money went: The sets and crafts are well-imagined and authentic, and the danger therefore seems so real you feel it in your bones.

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Midnight Dancers

Add Comment on July 28, 1995 by Shlomo Schwartzberg

   Three Filipino brothers make a living as "macho dancers" and prostitutes in this pedestrian portrait of Manila's gay culture. Joel has a wife and a child, but he also conducts an open relationship with a male lover; Dennis prefers to live on the streets, selling his body while attempting to avoid the violently homophobic police; Sonny, newly arrived from the brothers' hometown of Cebu, takes up with a transvestite lover but retains his small-town naivete. Their mother knows what they do for livings, but she accepts it.    Director Mel Chionglo added 15 minutes to the version o...

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Double Happiness

Add Comment on July 28, 1995 by Shlomo Schwartzberg

   One of the stronger debuts of the year, Mina Shum's "Double Happiness" is an engaging study of Jade Li (Sandra Oh), a young Chinese-American woman torn between her own artistic aspirations and the traditional attitudes of her Old World parents (Stephen Chang and Alannah Ong). The actress-minded Jade has begun to audition for local commercials in her Vancouver hometown, but her parents don't take her work seriously and prefer she marry--definitely a Chinese, and preferably one who's a lawyer or doctor. To placate her folks, Jade goes on arranged dates, if without enthusiasm, only to enthusiastically fall in love with a young man (Callum Rennie)--who's white. It's then that Jade must decide for whom she's living her life.

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Kids

Add Comment on July 21, 1995 by Lael Loewenstein

   An edgy, disturbing first film from photographer Larry Clark, "Kids" was one of the few hot tickets in Cannes, and one of the few films to generate much controversy. Set in contemporary New York, the movie depicts with brutal candor a group of hard-living teens. The story centers on Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), a lust-filled youth whose specialty is virgins. What he doesn't know is that he's carrying the AIDS virus--which comes clear only when Jennie (Chloe Sevigny), a recent virgin conquest, has an HIV test that comes back positive. Cocky and smooth, seducing every girl he can, Telly is a walking time bomb.As a devastated Jennie sets out to inform Telly, Clark crosscuts between her desperate search for him and his current pursuit of yet another nubile.

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Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home

Add Comment on July 21, 1995 by Kim Williamson

This effective sequel, which returns all the regulars and adds a stepbrother (Francis Capra), a romantic interest (Mary Kate Schellhardt) and the orca Willy's whole family, is buoyed by one big asset: the compelling presence of Jason James Richter as a more mature Jesse. The one-time rebellious homeless boy has now comfortably nestled into the loving arms of his adoptive parents (Michael Madsen and Jayne Atkinson), and his life in the picturesque Pacific Northwest becomes even sunnier when he's reunited with Willy. (Scenes of the two cavorting underwater, thanks to Richter's effective emoting and Laszlo Kovacs' nifty cinematography, make a splendid splash.

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Clueless

Add Comment on July 21, 1995 by Kim Williamson

Originally and more catchingly announced as "I Was a Teenage Teenager," this loose adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma" has MTV video ingenue Alicia Silverstone in the role of Austen's "handsome, clever, and rich" young woman--here named the more vogueish Cher and transported from Victorian England to tres-hip Beverly Hills. The novel's scheming, social-climbing antagonist is transformed into the less malevolent Tai (Brittany Murphy)--for that matter, Cher is handsome and rich, but hardly clever--which leaves the plot somewhat rudderless. As Cher's best girlfriend Dionne, Stacey Dash sparkles again but has even less to do than in "Renaissance Man."

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