James Wolcott

64 Articles

Movies |
November 1, 1982

Your Flick of Flicks

Laughter, nostalgia, and a delightful performance by Peter O’Toole are brought to you by My Favorite Year, a tribute to the heyday of TV. Lookin’ to Get Out will have you doing the same. Yes, Giorgio is so-so. Texas has its moments.

Movies |
September 30, 1982

Kangaroo Westerns

He has no manners, polish, or panache. He has stubble, a low brow, and a violent temper. Thanks to filmakers from down under, he's the new Austrailian male.

Movies |
August 31, 1982

Well, Bust My Bodice

With its folksy-talking tarts and rubes, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas tries to make a virture of vulgarity. Bard-olaters who flock to two Shakespeare-inspired offerings may be disappointed: Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is puckish but prosy; Paul Mazursky’s Tempest leaves the viewer at sea.

Movies |
July 31, 1982

Kirk And Spock And Scotty And Bones

Everybody’s favorite starshippers battle a bad guy and the bulge in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Author! Author! is nothing to write home about. The Thing is barely human. And there’s The World According to Garp, Firefox, and Blade Runner.

Movies |
June 30, 1982

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.

Movies |
May 31, 1982

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.

Movies |
April 30, 1982

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.

Movies |
April 1, 1982

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.

Movies |
March 1, 1982

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.

Movies |
February 1, 1982

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.

Movies |
January 1, 1982

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.

Movies |
December 1, 1981

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.

Film |
September 30, 1981

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.

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