Decline of Western Civilization III

Penelope Spheeris changed my life. A suburban doofus who only knew punk rock from records, I took a date to the Sacramento debut of The Decline of Western Civilization in 1981. The film documented the Los Angeles punk scene  ...

End of Days

How big is Arnold Schwarzenegger? Forget the international body-building titles, the above-even-the-director credit lines, the preview ads that read only: "Schwarzenegger – December 1999". In End of Days, Arnold faces his biggest foe ever – Satan himself. But even  ...

The Girl Next Door

Stacy Baker's list of job qualifications is a simple one: "I know I'm good at sex. I can give head really well. I can go down on women really well. I fuck great. I'm very confident about my sexual  ...

The Haunting

The trailers alone are a tip-off that The Haunting is more of a date flick than a genuine horror film, but this movie postpones surrendering to its own junky instincts for a surprisingly long time. The Haunting  ...

It All Starts Today (ca commence aujourd’hui)

From its plot, you'd think that Bertrand Tavernier's It All Starts Today would be a chore. The tale of an elementary school headmaster's struggle to obtain social services in a mining town blighted by economic disaster could have been  ...

Mission: Impossible 2

Brian DePalma’s Mission: Impossible had a minimal number of kicks: a skewed-angle view of a staircase that looked like an M.C. Escher drawing, a sexy supporting performance by Vanessa Redgrave, and an energizing use of Lalo Schifrin’s TV theme  ...

Me, Myself, & Irene

Bobby and Peter Farrelly (There's Something About Mary, Kingpin) are responsible for some of the most appallingly tasteless - and hilarious - sight gags ever committed to celluloid. There's no body function too private, no excretion too taboo for  ...

The Mummy Returns

The title says it all: the mummy returns, bringing with him the Curse of the Summer Movie Sequel. Those who enjoyed 1999's The Mummy are unlikely to be disappointed, as this return engagement by the ancient Egyptian Imhotep plays  ...

Pleasantville

When CV sees a movie like Pleasantville, we get a little worried about slipping into a double standard, on the one hand, and preaching condescendingly, on the other. We don't want to do either, but movies like this  ...

Ran

Akira Kurosawa was a prolific director, creating 31 films over a half century. Whether working on an intimate scale (Ikiru, 1952) or in epic mode (The Seven Samurai, 1954), he was profound in his observations, skilled at storytelling, and  ...