HURRICANE STREETS (1997)

Written & Directed By: Morgan J. Freeman
Cinematography: Enrique Chediak
Editor: Sabine Hoffman

Cast: Brendan Sexton III, Mtume Gant, Carlo Alban, Edie Falco, Lynn Cohen, Shawn Elliott, Adrian Grenier, L.M. Kit Carson, Isidra Vega, Jose Zuniga, Heather Matarazzo, David Moscow 

A teenage petty criminal dreams of escaping his increasingly unlawful lifestyle when he meets a sweet girl who hopes to one day travel to Alaska.


This film comes across like a well Made student thesis film. Made all the more gritty for a more realistic feel and street credibility and for the film’s reputation. It comes across simple enough.

The film Has a central love story that is what helped sell the film. That romance actually stays very sweet and innocent. Actually, it’s the only part of the film that feels pure and natural making the film more endearing.

The film starts off with a strong opening though slowly gets duller. As the main character seems to get continuously plain red into a corner and tries his best to get out.

The film’s mindset stays juvenile and onto wales up to stone-cold reality towards the end. Which might be understandable as most of the characters are teens kids really. So we follow them.

How else do you explain that the crew couldn’t tell they had a snake in their midst. As well as a snitch. Though by the end you do feel a certain sympathy for all involved.

The recurring theme of the darts game feels silly and only later it’s importance is revealed.

This seems like the typical Sundance film festival youth crime story that was popular at the time that promised to show the grit that was going down but comes off softer than expected.

The film has an ambiguous ending that is clearly is inspired by THE GRADUATE. As both characters are hopeful but have nowhere to go. Only she doesn’t know it yet. She also stays the only innocent character throughout the whole film As she has done Nothing to deserve her troubles.

She already has to deal with an overbearing father. Who starts out a villain and then turns into a victim.

I remember loving this film when it first came out. Even watching it twice in theaters. Watching it today it’s a film that is very of its time period and doesn’t necessarily age well. Like an embarrassing photo from your youth that brings back memories but also feels a little embarrassed of.

Unfortunately, after that strong opening, we see the rest of the scene play out towards the end that more comes across as a desperate comedy of errors.

The film achieved certain popularity at the time due to a hit song that was featured on the soundtrack SEX & CANDY by Marcy Playground.

I try not to bad mouth it put down any films especially independent ones that have a hard enough time trying to find an audience in the first place.

This is the type of film that was praised as strong and authentic at the time though does feel like a film made for teens made by one of them, again at the time

In the end, the film ties into a carefree youth whereas most of the characters are poorer so that they base their decisions and behavior more on that and have bigger repercussions but more are doing things to fun as well as survival.

Grade: C

FATHER’S DAY (1997)

fathersday

Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
Based on the film “Les Comperes” written by: Francis Verber
Cinematography By: Stephen h. Burum
Editor: Sheldon Kahn & Wendy Greene Bricmont

 

CAST: Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Nastassja Kinski, Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Bruce Greenwood, Haylie Johnson, Mark McGrath, Charles Rocket, Jared Harris, Louis Lombardi, Patti D’Arbanville, Ricky Harris, Dana Gould

Jack Lawrence is a smart aleck lawyer who is one day visited by an ex-girlfriend who tells him her kid was his. Enter Dale Putley, a depressed goofball who is also a writer, meets with the same ex-girlfriend who tells him her kid is his. One day Jack and Dale meet and discover what had happened: they’ve been told the same story and now there’s a question of who the real father is. They learn their son is following a rock band called Sugar Ray around. So Jack and Dale hit the road to Sacramento and find their drunk, love-struck son. Soon after they bring him back to their hotel room, their son escapes and Jack and Dale must use teamwork to find him again, bring him home, and find out which one of them is the real father.

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NOWHERE (1997)

Written, Edited & Directed By: Greg Araki Cinematography: Arturo Smith

Production Design: Patti Podesta

Cast: James Duval, Rachel True, Christina Applegate, Nathan Bexton, Guillermo Diaz, Jeremy Jordan, Kathleen Robertson, Jordan Ladd, Ryan Philippe, Heather Graham, Charlotte Rae, Chiara Mastroianni, Debi Mazar, Joshua Gibran Mayweather, Mena Suvari, Sarah Lassez, Alan Boyce, Jason Simmons, Beverley D’Angelo, Denise Richards, Teresa Hill, Traci Lords, David Leisure, Eve Plumb, John Ritter, Shannen Doherty, Rose McGowan, Christopher Knight, Stacy Kennan, Devon Odessa, Stephane Sednaoui, Gibby Haynes,

In it’s own way this film is like a nihilistic beach party movie. Way removed from Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

This film is a kind of spoof teen movie like SCREAM making fun of teens and teen movies. While being one but being modern and way over the top. Showcasing what teen moves at the time shows away from showing Drugs, Sex, Suicide, eating disorders, homosexuality, date rape, murder, alien invasions and face it all a rough edge.

The film has cameos and appearances galore which makes it feels like a Robert Altman cast with spot the guest star of musicians and actors who were recognizable at the Time. As well as established actors from television. Where some seem here more to challenge their image and be a bit rebellious

This is a low budget odyssey meant to be surreal with great art direction. The film certainly has a diverse cast where an African American character is the most popular and sought after female in the film. And a Great alternative 90’s soundtrack.

It’s an ensemble so the story and film Is supposed to feel unfocused at times. At heart this film wants to be a comedy. Yet hits in serious issues but at other times ends them in more silly ways.

Though the couples are sexually fluid throughout this is the closest at the time Of director Greg Araki making more heterosexual cinema. As before this most of his film had been considered queer cinema. Though this film has a few same sex pairings.

This is kind of a preview of what his future film KABOOM and Television series NOW APOCALYPSE would be like only more structured. Kind of wish it had more of this films madness and world. Love or hate the films of Greg araki they are never boring.

This is a dark decadent comedy that allows sitcom stars to play against type with different stories going on while an alien invasion is taking place. Letting the stars play more dirty and against type.

This is certainly a film to experience and while more a cult classic that at times tries to find art and beauty in trash. Yet always aspiring to be trash. In more a sharp and stylish way then a John Waters way.

The actual leads of the film are mroe the lesser known names in the cast.

This film seems more like an examination, dedication and showcase of the culture at the time, more California based. Where as it seems full of good looking people, fashion and fads, but they are usually doing the worst or bad things and we get to know some more then just face value. To see what lies inside them and what they cause. As sometimes even the most pretty beauty is all they have to offer. Nothing else really.

The film ends nihilistic like most of Araki’s films here we are all lost or doomed in this unpredictable universe and no matter what all we try and search for is to not be lonely and have that person to go through the best and worst with.

This plays like a demented , warped satire of BEVERY HILLS 90210 and teen movies and culture of the 90’s. The film takes place over one day in california. It follows a group of teen friends and their misadventures. No real solid plot as much of the movie just seems to happen, not much seems actually planned.

Though it’s a teen movie it definitely is not for kids. It tackles all the usual subjects. Drugs (tons of them) Infidelity, Date Rape, Suicide, Love, First dates, Butit also includes new ones like Zombies, Cross Dressing and Fetishes. The film also takes typical cliched characters and turns your pre-concieved notions of them and turns them on their ear.With characters named Dark, zero, ducky, Lucifer, Dingbat, Kozy, Hand Job, and Egg. you know this is not your typical film.

It’s has a very surreal stlye. The saturated colors in scenes. One character even has the lyrics of a song superimposed on his bedroom walls that surround him at every turn. It tries to be more punk style if film more then anything else.

This is the third part of Greg Araki’s Teenage apocalypse trilogy though his film KABOOM deals with similar subjects. Truth be told this at the time was the first film of greg araki’s that i enjoyed. The film is a nihlistic piece of work as usual fro him in his early work. He calls this his first heterosexual film. As most of his previous work was considered gay cinema.

Even though the film takes place in one day. the characters change clothes numerous times throughout the film.

This film is filled with both tons of cameos giving it a all star cast and filled with at the time many up and coming actors. The film is filled with sex but oddly very little nudity. Though it does contain plenty of graphic shocking violence.

This film feels like a chance for the young stars of the film to distort whatever images they have in film and television. To show they have an edge and sense of humor. It also gives them a chanceto do a indie film. Which was the cool thing to do at the time. The film is almost like a time capsule to 90’s culture.

It is a beautiful film to look at no matter how trashy it tries to be. The art Direction, Camera work are truly admirable, but in the same mindset. The film can make things beautiful, but also stomach turning even the characters.

Just like the film the soundtrack is very vivid itself. Scoring the film with uneasiness and energy.

This film is crazy and definately out there, but i can honestly say i enjoyed it enough to give it a mild recommendation.

Grade: B

ALL OVER ME (1997)

alloverme

Directed By: Alex Sitchel
Written By: Sylvia Sitchel
Cinematography: Joe DeSalvo
Editor: Sabine Hoffman

Cast: Allison Folland, Tara Subkoff, Cole Hauser, Shawn Hasoty, Vincent Pastore, Wilson Cruz, Leisha Hailey

Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They’re involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia. All is changed one night when a violent and meaningless death rocks their lives.

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KISS ME GUIDO (1997)

kiss-me-guido

Written & Directed By: Tony Vitale
Cinematography By: Claudia Raschke
Editor: Alexander Hall

Cast: Nick Scotti, Anthony Barrile, Anthony DeSando, Domeinck Lombardozzi, Christopher Lawford, Jennifer Esposito, Molly Price, Dwight Ewell, Rebecca Waxman, Guinevere Turner

Warren has an extra room in his apartment (and is five months behind on the rent) after his lover moves out, so a friend places an ad on his behalf for a GWM roommate. Frankie, a pizza baker (and aspiring actor), decides to move out of his family’s flat in The Bronx when he comes home one evening and walks in on his brother making love to Frankie’s girlfriend. Frankie checks ads for roommates in “the city” (i.e., Manhattan), notices Warren’s ad and decides to answer it, reasoning that GWM stands for “Guy With Money.”

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MONEY TALKS (1997)

moneytalks

Directed By: Brett Ratner
Written By: Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow
Cinematography By: Russell Carpenter & Robert Primes
Editor: Mark Helfrich

Cast: Chris Tucker, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, Paul Sorovino, Faizon Love, Elise Neal, Damien Chapa, David Warner, Paul Gleason, Michael Wright, Daniel Roebuck, Veronica Cartwright

Sought by police and criminals, a small-time hustler makes a deal with a TV newsman for protection.

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SCREAM 2 (1997)

scream2

Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Kevin Williamson
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Editor: Patrick Lussier 

Cast: Neve Campbell, Jerry O’Connell, Elise Neal, Timothy Olyphant, Jamie Kennedy, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Rebecca Gayheart, Portia DeRossi, Liev Schrieber, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett, Omar Epps, Duane Martin, David Warner, Luke Wilson, Heather Graham, Tori Spelling, Lewis Arquette, Joshua Jackson, Marisol Nichols 

Two years after the events of Scream, Sidney Prescott and Randy are attending Windsor college. They are trying to get on with their lives…Until a new Ghostface killing spree begins. With the help of Dewey and Gale, Sidney must find out who’s behind the murders. As the body count goes up, the list of suspects goes down.

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ONE NIGHT STAND (1997)

onenight

Written, Music & Directed By: Mike Figgis
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editor: John Smith 

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr., Natassja Kinski, Ming-Na Wen, Kyle Maclachlan, Amanda Donohoe, Marcus T. Paulk, Vincent Ward, John Calley, Glenn Plummer, Thomas Haden Church, John Ratzenberger, Annabelle Gurwitch, Julian Sands, Saffron Burrows, Ione Skye, Donovan Leitch, Xander Berkeley 


Los Angeles advertisement director Max visits his friend, artist Charlie, who was diagnosed with A.I.D.S. in New York City. There he meets Karen, they are attracted to each other and after they meet later that day at the concert, they have a passionate night. Then he returns home to Los Angeles to his family, and wife Mimi. A year later, Max returns to New York City again to visit Charlie, who is now dying, and there he meets Karen again, who is married to Charlie’s brother Vernon.

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VOLCANO (1997)

VOLCANO
TOMMY LEE JONES AND ANNE HECHE
© Fox

Directed By: Mick Jackson
Written By: Billy Ray & Jerome Armstrong
Story By: Jerome Armstrong
Cinematography By: Theo Van De Sande
Editor: Don Brochu & Michael Tronick
Music By: Alan Silvestri 


Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Don Cheadle, Jaqueline Kim. Keith David, Richard Schiff, Gaby Hoffman, John Corbett, Marcello Thedford, John Carroll Lynch, Michael Rispoli, Susie Essman, Lou Myers, Robert Wisdom, Valente Rodriguez

Something unspeakably chilling is ultimately starting to heat up at The City of Los Angeles! Beneath the famed La Brea Tar Pits, a raging volcano has formed, raining a storm of deadly fire bombs and an endless tide of white-hot lava upon the stunned city!

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