Pop Culture                                                                                              May 29-June 12, 1995

French Kiss

Twentieth Century Fox

Starring Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Timothy Hutton and a sizzlin' French babe,

French Kiss tries to prove once and for all that, even on the international frontier,

American ways and Puritanical style of living are the best damn ways to live in

the world. Meg Ryan's character flips when her fiancé (Timothy Hutton) runs off

with a purring French kitten while he's on a business trip in Paris. Never fear that

the French are a generally rude lot of people, awash in their own ill-smelling

tobacco musk and underdeveloped moral standards: Our own cultural rep (Ryan)

kicked their butts right with American style and vigor. Her ex-fiancé ends up

playing the fool--after all, he defected to the other side. While Kevin Kline is the

overwhelming saving grace of this film, it still isn't worth the price of popcorn.

Amazing Movie Chain: Kevin Kline--Sophie's Choice--Meryl Streep--Ironweed--

Jack Nicholson--Easy Rider--Dennis Hopper--Apocolypse Now--Harrison Ford--

STAR WARS--Obi Wan Kenobi

Crimson Tide


With all the intensity of War Games meets Hunt For Red October, Denzel

Washington and Gene Hackman go ideologically head-to- head on a nuclear

arms fitted submarine while awaiting the sign to launch at those awful Ruskies.

Although Crimson Tide is full of mutiny, torpedo scares, and

mood-enhancing red lights, MELVIN Operatives received their biggest

thrill out of a few brief scenes containing 80's icon Ricky "just Rick

now that I'm trying to be a serious actor" Schroeder. Succeeding at

hitting its obviously middle-age, white male intellectual target

audience, Crimson Tide is undeniably suspenseful and well

done, especially if you're credulous enough to think that the film

might actually end in world-wide nuclear war. If the fact that there

was only one possible ending for the movie disturbs you, a few other

irritants might include leftover Cold War stereotypes and a distracting

scene in which the actors draw attention to race differences by using a

stupid horse metaphor.

Amazing Movie Chain: Gene Hackman--Postcards from the Edge--Dennis

Quaid--Innerspace--Meg Ryan--When Harry Met Sally--Carrie Fisher--

STAR WARS--Obi Wan Kenobi

The Basketball Diaries

Stranger than fiction, The Basketball Diaries is a top-notch

flick that relates the tall tale of poet, lousy rock musician, and New

York junkie Jim Carroll's adolescent escapades. Remarkably still alive

(even has a brief but zesty cameo in this film), Carroll managed to do

more drug experimenting before eighteen than most proud users

accomplish their whole lives. Hollywood flavor-of-the-month Leonardo

DiCaprio twinkles as Carroll, with the help from the likes of Marky

(now just plain Mark, if you please) Wahlberg, Bruno Kirby, Lorraine

Braco, Ernie Hudson, and Juliette Lewis. DiCaprio proves that

What's Eating Gilbert Grape was no flook, and Marky Mark

reveals there's more to him than a washboard stomach and an uncanny

ability to rhyme. MELVIN Disclaimer: No matter how compelling we think

it is, The Basketball Diaries is not for the stodgy. If you

can't think of more than two synonyms for heroine, you may want to see

While You Were Sleeping.

Amazing Movie Chain: Juliette Lewis--Cape Fear--Robert De

Niro--Backdraft--Donald Sutherland--A Dry White Season--

Marlon Brando--Apocolypse Now--Harrison Ford--STAR WARS--

Obi Won Kenobi

Forget Paris

Castle Rock Entertainment

Unforgettably scripted, Forget Paris revolves around a dinner

party throughout which the uncharismatic love story of Billy Crystal

and Debra Winger is told by their obnoxious friends. Obviously, no one

told Billy Crystal that the world was looking to this film to medicate

the oozing sore that is his career because Forget Paris is no

more than another When Harry Met Sally rip-off that doesn't

even accomplish the primary goal of romantic slop-fests: making the

dateless masses feel miserable and inadequate. However, members of the

menopausal, romantic-comedy-lovin' target audience that surrounded

MELVIN Operatives at every turn sure did think that Billy Crystal's

weary one-man-show routines were a hoot.

Amazing Movie Chain: Billy Crystal--When Harry Met Sally--Carrie Fisher--STAR

WARS--Obi Wan Kenobi


Hollywood Pictures

Aficionados of pop culture agree: Die Hard, the first movie in

this trilogy, has all the gusto of a masterpiece. Granting this,

discussion can now begin about the wretched, floundering mess of

imbecility known as Die Hard With A Vengeance. Apparently,

production of the third installment of the Die Hard trilogy

was loosely patrolled. The movie is too long, the action is laughably

unbelievable, the one-liners are all one line too long, and those

bastards even made Bruce Willis do all this trite cowboy crap. There is

no excuse for this movie, with the exception of pure unadulterated

greed. Come to think of it, that's a pretty good reason. Note:

In spite of the poor quality of this film, we eagerly await the coming

of Star Wars IV--Full Throttle, coming next fall.

Amazing Movie Chain: Samuel L. Jackson--Jurassic Park>--Laura

Dern--Blue Velvet--Dennis Hopper--Apocalypse Now--Harrison Ford--

STAR WARS--Obi Wan Kenobi