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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

JULY 12, 1999: 

THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER. An older, fatter, but still damn sexy John Travolta stars in this well-paced, misogynist murder mystery set on a Southern army base. Madeline Stowe, James Cromwell, James Woods and Timothy Hutton all do face-time as more-and-less corrupt army officers, and Leslie Stefanson does beautiful naked-dead-body-raped-and-staked-spread-eagle-to-the-ground time as the exploitive and sleazily titillating element of the movie. If it weren't for the fact that so much of this film is about the graphic, visual depiction of the abuse of a young woman, this would be one of the year's better thrillers, but as it is it's more of a gussied-up anti-woman porn film. -- DiGiovanna

SOUTHPARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT. A touching musical comedy about the coming of age of four young boys, Southpark is most directly comparable to Stand By Me, except instead of a dead body the boys discover that Satan is having a homosexual affair with Saddam Hussein. In an effort to stop the Dark Lord from taking over the world, the boys must defend the rights of Canadians to sing songs like "You're an Uncle Fucker." Moving, growthful and intelligent, Southpark may be the best adaptation of Little Women ever put to the screen. -- DiGiovanna

SUMMER OF SAM. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "to sam" as "verb, transitive: to join together, as two pieces of wood." I have no idea what that has to do with this meticulously crafted re-creation of Brooklyn in the late '70s, but there is a lot of love, including that which dare not speak its name, in this psychological drama. John Leguizamo turns in a career performance as Vinny, the womanizing husband of Mira Sorivino's Dionna, who gets caught up in the hysteria surrounding the Son of Sam serial killings. As the summer heats up, Vinny's neighborhood goes crazy and a group of vigilantes begins to suspect everyone of being the deranged killer. Most notable for director Spike Lee's unerring visual sensibility, Summer of Sam stands out amongst the blockbusters and cartoons as the most adult movie of the summer. -- DiGiovanna

WILD WILD WEST. (Editor's note: Since this flick, like much of Hollywood's product, is aimed at the male teenage demographic, we asked 14-year-old Michael Peel, TW Junior Critic, for a review.) I went to the screening of this incredibly disappointing "blockbuster" expecting another quirky movie in the style of Men in Black. Instead, we are given both Will Smith and Kevin Kline in drag, mostly unfunny jokes and a script almost as bad as The Avengers. Still, Smith and Kline give good performances as usual, and the special effects are better than average. This is an instantly forgettable gimmick movie designed to sell soundtracks and toys. -- Peel

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