Daily Archives: October 10, 2000

Lost Souls

Janusz Kaminski, the cinematographer of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, directs his first feature, a supernatural thriller that seems bent on remaking The Exorcist with some of the stylish look of Seven. Alas, look is everything here and storytelling and characters are next to nothing, so what emerges is oddly ineffectual and uninvolvingvisually striking set pieces set loose in a void. The plot has something to do with a famous writer (Ben Chaplin) who doesn’t believe in the devil but who gradually learns from a believer (Winona Ryder) that he’s scheduled to turn into the Antichrist himself. With Philip Baker Hall, Elias Koteas, and John Hurt; Pierce Gardner and Betsy Stahl are credited with the script. 97 min. (JR) Read more

The Ladies Man

Not a rerelease of Jerry Lewis’s second-best feature, alas, nor even a remake, though it comes from the same studio. Instead, Paramount deemed it wiser to give us a stridently unfunny minstrel show, insulting to audience and cast alike, starring Tim Meadows as a talk-show host and philandering black stud who has a lot of angry husbands chasing him. When the husbands briefly break into a musical comedy number, I thought for a moment that director Reginald Hudlin was giving Kenneth Branagh in Love’s Labour’s Lost a run for his money, but I suspect the challenge here was different: to see if he could direct a movie blindfolded and wearing earplugs. With Karyn Parsons, Billy Dee Williams, Tiffani Thiessen, Lee Evans, and Will Ferrell; Meadows, Dennis McNichols, and Andrew Steele worked on the script. 96 min. (JR) Read more