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By Frank Sennett, Ray Pride

MARCH 23, 1998: 

Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life

Hagiography in the truest sense of the word: a biography of the writer-polemicist Ayn Rand that venerates her as a kind of saint with the sort of idolatry that omits any dissenting voices, despite the great controversy that she sought all her long life. As portrayed in Michael Paxton's Oscar-nominated documentary, ""Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life," her mantra of "individualism" speaks to a single individual, which she could well have described as "me-me-me-me." Paxton piles up information about her philosophy of "objectivism" but also attempts to gain validity through citing the most unlikely sources, such as a Book-of-the-Month Club poll that apparently asserted that "Atlas Shrugged" was the second most important book to Americans, after the Bible. For those predisposed to Rand worship only. The ripely-written narration is by Sharon Gless. 145m.

Mr. Nice Guy

All you need to know about the plot of the action-comedy "Mr. Nice Guy" is contained in the press summary: "Jackie Chan plays a beloved television chef pursued by a gang of ruthless drug dealers who think he has a videotape that could cook their goose." Doesn't really matter. In fact, you could walk out of the film ten minutes before its goofy climax and be better off for it. But for fans of Hong Kong's charming stuntmaster general, "Mr. Nice Guy" will prove highly enjoyable. Whether he's turning kickboxing into box-kicking, scampering up sheer walls, rolling over whirring sawblades, or squeezing through impossibly tight spaces, Chan is simply mesmerizing. Even with a hackneyed supporting cast. Even when his weak English pronunciation renders lines like "my car is full of holes" as "my cow is full of hoes." Even in a film with as worthless a title as "Mr. Nice Guy." Like the character he plays, Chan can cook. (Frank Sennett)

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