Daily Archives: July 31, 2000

Hollow Man

Paul Verhoeven’s well-paced and watchable action thriller, about a scientist (Kevin Bacon) working for the Pentagon who makes himself invisible, is less of a social satire than his other recent features (Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers)despite the glancing suggestion in Andrew W. Marlowe’s screenplay that the scientist’s ugly mischief with his discovery is nothing compared to what the Pentagon’s might be. In fact, this is an old-fashioned exercise in horror-suspense, with first-rate special effects and, as is usual with Verhoeven, an attractive and stylish mise en scene that verges on hyperrealism in its clarity of line. Even when the film reverts to formula, which is fairly often, it does so with polish. It’s also recognizably Verhoevenian in its graceful storytelling (apart from a few holes in the central premise), its appreciation of strong-willed women (top honors to Elisabeth Shue and Kim Dickens) and erotic power struggles, and its dark humor about adolescent males (Bacon is an absolute creep from the beginning). It’s also, like his other films, the work of a macabre moralist who’s fascinated by the shape of our worst impulses, though it’s not terribly interesting on the subject this time around. With Josh Brolin, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle, and William Devane.… Read more »

Coyote Ugly

Another piece of phony uplift from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who brought us Flashdance, Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, and, more recently, Armageddon and Gone in Sixty Seconds. This onea sort of Flashdance/Urban Cowboy concoction with a dash of Cocktailclearly doesn’t believe its own jive for a second. It’s about a songwriter (Piper Perabo) from New Jersey who comes to the big city and winds up shaking her ass at a raucous country-western bar, meanwhile dating an Australian dishwasher (Adam Garcia) and trying to convince her widower father (John Goodman, trying hard to be sincere) that he shouldn’t feel ashamed about her job. David McNally directed a script by Gina Wendkos. 100 min. (JR)… Read more »