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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

APRIL 12, 1999: 

THE MATRIX. While watching this I turned to my pal and fellow ex-childhood comic geek Petix and said, "This is the movie we dreamed of when we were young." He nodded rabidly before returning his rapt and drooling visage to the screen. Remember when the original Superman movie came out, and the tag line was You'll Believe a Man Can Fly!? That was a load of crap...anyone could see Superman was supported by strings, and the rest of his superpowers were equally fakey. Well, not here: Keanu Reeves, Lawrence Fishburne and some B-listers discover that the world is a computer simulation and that they can reprogram themselves with abilities beyond the ken of normal folk. They dodge bullets, leap across tall buildings and fly through the air and the whole thing looks so cool you'll forget about the plot holes and story-flow problems and just have an eye-candy good time. --DiGiovanna

THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS. In the half-full auditorium where I watched this dismal comedy, only one viewer really seemed to be enjoying herself. If you're undaunted by those odds, read on. Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn play the Clarks, a middle-aged couple from Ohio who travel to New York City for a job interview. They encounter one problem after another during the course of the wackiest 24 hours of their poorly sketched-out lives; they get mugged on the mean streets, unintentionally solicit an audience while having sex in Central Park (yuck, Steve, close your mouth!) and accidentally take hallucinogenic drugs. Both roles are thinly written, yet narrative interest relies upon spectators actually caring about what happens to them. Like I said, one was the lucky number at my screening. I myself had better things to think about, like how far the walk is to the bathroom at those darn monster-plexes. --Higgins

SIX WAYS TO SUNDAY. As an Italian, I'm always glad to see a gangster movie where the mobsters don't hail from my homeland. Thus, I was doubly pleased with 6 Ways To Sunday, the tale of a brutal momma's boy who rises to the top of the Youngstown, Ohio, Mafia, where gefilte fish substitutes for lasagna and the thugs say things like "having money and not flashing it is for gentiles." Norman Reedus turns in a truly weird and yet very natural performance as Harry Odum, who comes of age through killings and shakedowns. Deborah Harry is also boffo as his mom, who bathes him, cooks for him and controls the night light in his bedroom. Some chillingly sexual mother-son sequences reminiscent of Todd Solondz's Happiness make this not your average gangster film. Also featuring scene-stealing performances by Elina Lowensöhn (best known for her work in Hal Hartley's films) and Isaac Hayes (who, beyond all reason, is now best known as the voice of "Chef" on South Park). --DiGiovanna

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