Santa Cruz Sentinel

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
C+ In the Cut (2003) Wallace Baine I never found myself relaxed watching In the Cut. There is a pat, color-by-numbers quality to the inherent whodunit and the urban backdrop feels gratuitous and empty, EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2019
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) J.A. Conner Today's moral: As long as there's a buck in it, evil never dies. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
Frisco Kid (1935) Rick Chatenever A nice little ditty that feats neatly in the "mildly amusing" category. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2019
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) John Robinson I found myself sort of liking the turtles and you have to admit that "Cowabunga dude," is the perfect response to every question. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
Xanadu (1980) Rick Chatenever Looks more like a nouveau record album cover come to life. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
The Lord of the Rings (1978) Rick Chatenever Full of epic effects and breathtaking battles the film reflects Bakshi's ingenuity, with photographic imagery and light show effects expanding the limits of the palette used in previous animation features. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
Orca (1977) Dale Pollock [Orca] is not an easy film to sit through. Not only because of the banal dialogue, the overdrawn performances or the familiar theme... The real reason is that Orca contains a few sequences so intense in suffering and horror as to be nearly unbearable. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2019
B The Ring Two (2005) Tom Ragan There never should have been an addition to the original. The sequel makes a valiant effort at scary storytelling, but it suffers by comparison. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
B Nobody Knows (2004) Catherine Graham Yuya Yogira is remarkable, a screen debut as exciting as Jean Pierre Leaud's in The 400 Blows. EDIT
Posted Mar 22, 2019
Teen Wolf (1985) Rick Chatenever The idea that being a werewolf is something certain teens have to learn to live with like acne is a pretty novel concept to begin with. The problem is that Teen Wolf doesn't know where to go from there. EDIT
Posted Mar 21, 2019
The Amityville Horror (1979) Rick Chatenever Overall, The Amityville Horror will undoubtedly convince audiences that something did happen in Amityville -- but will leave them wondering what the big fuss was all about. EDIT
Posted Mar 19, 2019
B- The Cable Guy (1996) Wallace Baine Those who like enjoy seeing performers open up their ids in the name of comedy might get a kick out of Carrey's spooky malevolence. Others, however, enter at their own risk. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2019
Wifemistress (1977) Rick Chatenever It's sprinkling on the parmesan to disguise the fact that what you're eating is basically bland fare, a simple mix of flour and water. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
California Suite (1978) Rick Chatenever At its best, Simon's dialogue is both entertaining and illuminating and it's at its best in much of this film. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Lifeforce (1985) Rick Chatenever Combining outer space adventure with late show horror might seem a great way to double your audience, but Lifeforce doesn't do real well in either genre. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
A Private Function (1984) J.A. Conner Alternating between slapstick satire and black comedy, A Private Function is full meal of comic study and insight. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
Return to Oz (1985) Rick Chatenever From just about every standpoint Return to Oz is competently executed but ill-advised. It's hard to imagine whom the filmmakers are trying to reach; it's easier to predict that filmgoers of all ages will be pretty well turned off. EDIT
Posted Mar 8, 2019
A Star Is Born (1976) Dale Pollock It is ironic that the star system itself has killed A Star is Born, a film written to expose that system for just this kind of destructiveness. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
The Wiz (1978) Rick Chatenever Taken on its own terms it gets better as it goes along, and winds up generating a mostly happy experience for those members of the audience who will take its lead and "ease on down" the road. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2019
D Sweet and Lowdown (1999) Catherine Graham The subtitle could be "Everything You Always Hated About Woody Allen." EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
B Tumbleweeds (1999) Wallace Baine Given its obviousness, Tumbleweeds is still worthy of attention thanks principally to the queenly Janet McTeer. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
A Mansfield Park (1999) Catherine Graham It's hard to imagine a more delightful time spent at the movies this holiday season than with this adaptation of Austen's Mansfield Park. EDIT
Posted Feb 28, 2019
GoodFellas (1990) Rick Chatenever The dialogue is as wonderful as it is profane. The performances are as down-to-earth and familiar as they are superlative achievements in screen acting. The movie is so densely textured, you can almost smell the gravy cooking on the stove in the kitchen. EDIT
Posted Feb 26, 2019
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) Rick Chatenever Do you remember the Beatles? Those that do will be amazed at the way Stigwood can use so much of their music and capture so little of its essence. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2019
C Daylight (1996) Adam Sandel As Daylight and other recent thrillers prove, it's much easier to create synthetic disasters, tornadoes, dinosaurs and dragons than it is to create sympathetic, believable human beings. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
C- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) Adam Sandel Although it's "just a movie" and "all in good fun," there's something kind of not fun about a film that opens with a sweet little girl being eaten alive by a flock of pigeon sized dinosaurs. (Parent alert: The film's PG 13 rating is a joke.) EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
B+ A Chef in Love (1996) Peggy Fernandez A Chef in Love will undoubtedly take its place among other memorable food movies such as Like Water for Chocolate, Babette's Feast and Big Night. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
B- Addicted to Love (1997) Peggy Fernandez But if a twisted stew of retaliation and romance tickle your taste buds, you'll find it's an amusing little treat. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
C- Mars Attacks! (1996) Wallace Baine Mars is a fireball of failure, a B-movie crammed full of A-list actors, an exercise in tacky self-indulgence that will numb you with its labored eccentricities. What's more, it would take a greater detective than I to find a single funny line. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
B The Preacher's Wife (1996) Peggy Fernandez One flash of Washington's warm, genuine smile is enough to hook anyone. There is a sincerity, a gentleness and a kindness that comes across no matter what role he plays and this one lets those qualities shine. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
C+ One Fine Day (1996) Peggy Fernandez If you're a big Pfeiffer fan, you'll be horribly disappointed. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
B+ Breaking the Waves (1996) Wallace Baine Emily Watson gives this musty spiritualism a flesh and-blood sympathetic center. Her purity of emotion, be it bliss, fear or sorrow, are convincingly unactorly and the camera -- even Von Trier's handheld pseudo-documentary one -- loves her face. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
B Jerry Maguire (1996) Wallace Baine It's an easy charmer that manages to avoid the paint-by-numbers traps most romantic comedies fall into. Cruise should make more movies like this and Cameron Crowe should make more movies, period. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
A- Twelfth Night (1996) Adam Sandel Even if you don't know the play, or don't "speak Shakespeare," you're in for a lively, rewarding experience. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
The Wicker Man (1973) Rick Chatenever Its mysteries rely not on easy gimmicks, but on a process of intellectual unfolding carried out jointly by Howie and the viewer. All of this takes place against a context or texture of haunting eeriness. EDIT
Posted Feb 22, 2019
C- A Beautiful Mind (2001) Catherine Graham Granted, it's uplifting to see mental illness portrayed on the screen in a humane fashion and world-class intellectuals elevated to heroic status. But A Beautiful Mind feels contrived from beginning to end, a paint-by-the-numbers biography. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2019
Schindler's List (1993) Wallace Baine With its black-and-white bleakness and its fiercely insistent realism, Schindler's List is a hallucinogenic experience. It is one of the most finely calibrated, most overtly mournful, most nakedly authentic films ever made. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Rick Chatenever For all the artistry in the background and behind the camera, Driving Miss Daisy is ultimately an acting showcase. And its stars are ultimately responsible for the delight it creates. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Forrest Gump (1994) Wallace Baine Fifty years from now, Forrest Gump will probably seem hopelessly quaint, cryptic, even ridiculous. Today, however, Gump, the much talked about summer fable starring Tom Hanks, is a tonic for an age of cancerous cynicism. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Ordinary People (1980) Rick Chatenever For its apparent lack of action, Ordinary People is superbly moving and dramatic, generating great excitement in the exchanges between characters. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Amadeus (1984) Rick Chatenever Both Shaffer and Forman sidestep traps of being too obvious or of oversimplifying. Consequently, both Mozart and Salieri emerge as complex figures, full of contrasting impulses. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Dances With Wolves (1990) Rick Chatenever It's still a wonderful time at the movies by turns, a grand adventure, a great inspiration, and a missing chapter In what it means to be human. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Rick Chatenever The creator of Something Wild establishes a similarly unpredictable context here, mixing suspense and thrills and even black humor in provocative fashion. EDIT
Posted Feb 19, 2019
Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1981) Rick Chatenever It still is a sad commentary that so much creative energy should have gone into such a sordid, kinky and ultimately demoralizing look at such bizarre facets of human nature both on the screen and in the audience. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
B+ Rumble in the Bronx (1995) John Robinson Let me state now, Rumble is a great movie and the Bronx never looked better. It also contains some of the best scenes of a hovercraft rampaging in city traffic ever filmed. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Treasure of the Four Crowns (1982) J.A. Conner There's more plot, humor, originality and literary quality in Bazooka Joe comic than this mess. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Time Stands Still (1982) J.A. Conner Time Stands Still is horny, nihilistic, political, obscure, funny, intense, and rewarding. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Allegro non Troppo (1976) Dale Pollock Bozzetto's work may never collect the tremendous audience that Fantasia has accumulated in its 30-year history, but that isn't because it's any less of a film. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Star Wars (1977) Dale Pollock This is one film that exceeds its tremendous pre-release ballyhoo. Few movies have ever been so much fun to watch. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2019
Gandhi (1982) Rick Chatenever Few people will leave the theater unaffected, or unchanged. EDIT
Posted Feb 5, 2019