James Wolcott

Stories

Smitten Kittens

The lovers in The French Lieutenant’s Woman are just this side of maudlin, but the movie itself is harder to take than they are.

Smitten Kittens

The lovers in The French Lieutenant’s Woman are just this side of maudlin, but the movie itself is harder to take than they are.

“Tina, Bring Me the Ax!”

Mommie Dearest is rabid. Raggedy Man is frayed. Rich and Famous is poor and undistinguished.

Rage of Cajuns

Southern Comfort bathes the bayou in blood; Chariots of Fire sets no track records; Quartet is a marvel of misdirection; True Confessions’ trespasses are forgivable; Time Bandits steals the show.

Big Frogs, Small Pond

Screen greats Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn embarrass themsevles in the namby-pamby On Golden Pond. Ragtime is a clinker. Absence of Malice has prescence--Paul Newman's.

Big Frogs, Small Pond

Screen greats Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn embarrass themsevles in the namby-pamby On Golden Pond. Ragtime is a clinker. Absence of Malice has prescence--Paul Newman's.

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

In Pennies From Heaven Steve Martin gets serious, which is too bad--until he jumps into his dazzling dance numbers, which are too good to be true. Four Friends is about pals, and it palls. In Sharky’s Machine Burt Reynolds tries to mix gore with mush. Rollover defaults.

Marriage In The Combat Zone

Shoot the Moon is about domestic warfare with tenderness and humor between the skirmishes; One From the Heart succeeds as art but fails as real life; Willie Nelson is just one of several good reasons to go see Barbarosa.

Marriage In The Combat Zone

Shoot the Moon is about domestic warfare with tenderness and humor between the skirmishes; One From the Heart succeeds as art but fails as real life; Willie Nelson is just one of several good reasons to go see Barbarosa.

Border Machismo

Jack Nicholson is looking for his angel of redemption in The Border. In Personal Best, Victor/Victoria, and Making Love, everyone is looking for anyone but a member of the opposite sex.

Border Machismo

Jack Nicholson is looking for his angel of redemption in The Border. In Personal Best, Victor/Victoria, and Making Love, everyone is looking for anyone but a member of the opposite sex.

French Fries And Sympathy

Diner recalls the unbeatable glow when the gang was all together. The two friends in My Dinner With Andre find that not seeing eye to eye doesn’t keep them from talking heart to heart.

French Fries And Sympathy

Diner recalls the unbeatable glow when the gang was all together. The two friends in My Dinner With Andre find that not seeing eye to eye doesn’t keep them from talking heart to heart.

Cool Blue And Dangerous

Diva is about opera, punks, and philosophy. Oh, and young love. And bootlegging, too. Then there’s the chase scene.... The British film The Long Good Friday is a bloody good deception of the underworld. Cat people is a dog.

Little Alien Lost

No one should pass up a close encounter with E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid doesn’t wear well. Conan the Barbarian is nothing but muscle: Annie is nothing but bustle.

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