Santa Cruz Sentinel

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
A L.A. Confidential (1997) Wallace Baine I loved this movie and respected its just-right blend of art and entertainment. Its lack of ironic self-consciousness and its insistence that its heroes be imperfect men of imperfect justice make this an exquisite noir experience. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2021
B- Real Women Have Curves (2002) Catherine Graham There's a lot to like in this coming-of-age story. EDIT
Posted Sep 7, 2021
El Super (1979) Rick Chatenever Directed by Leon Ichaso and Orlando Jimenez-Leal, El Super is not a story-telling movie nearly so much as an evocation of a particular, peculiar -- and unique -- sense of time, place and culture. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2021
La Bamba (1987) Rick Chatenever Writer-director Luis Valdez has deftly and movingly turned Valens' life into a meaningful cultural document. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2021
El Norte (1983) Rick Chatenever Part wondrous myth, part tragic reality, El Norte provides the husband-and-wife team of director Gregory Nava and producer Anna Thomas with the raw material for some exceptional filmmaking. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2021
Testament (1983) Rick Chatenever Alexander does an excellent acting job as the mother who finds new sources of strength and hope as the world crumbles around her. And award-winning TV director Lynne Littman makes a promising debut on the big screen. EDIT
Posted May 10, 2021
The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) Rick Chatenever Spheeris' treatment goes out of its way to present a broad look at the subject that avoids easy generalizations in either direction. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
Sugar Cane Alley (1983) Tom Long Sugar Cane Alley is a well-felt film that focuses on hope rather than despair in the face of oppression, a moral tale that works because of its own sense of innocence and belief in justice. EDIT
Posted May 7, 2021
Near Dark (1987) Tom Long [Near Dark] breaks new ground in its approach to vampires, although its questionable as to whether anybody but the moles who thrive on these creature-of-the-night flicks will care. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2021
B+ Clueless (1995) Wallace Baine This is meant to be a light-hearted well-written spoof and on those terms it succeeds. EDIT
Posted Mar 15, 2021
Out of Africa (1985) Rick Chatenever Pollack deserves a good part of the praise for this superb project. From seeing the potential in Dinesen's story in the first place, to bringing it to the screen in such a rich, balanced and engaging way, he deserves thanks along with the accolades. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2021
The Blues Brothers (1980) Rick Chatenever The Blues Brothers is full of ridiculousness, hilarity and terrific musical moments. The antics of the "Brothers" should make for an instant cult following. EDIT
Posted Dec 18, 2020
D Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) Tom Long If your idea of a laff riot is a guy's ear falling off, then this movie might be for you. Therapy might be for you, too. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
Superman III (1983) J.A. Conner One expects romance, humor and grandeur, but only gets a frustrating mixture of failed opportunities and missed chances. Bummer. EDIT
Posted Aug 13, 2020
The Witches (1990) Rick Chatenever "The Witches" is more fun for parents than kids and not all that much fun for anyone. EDIT
Posted Aug 11, 2020
The Enforcer (1976) Dale Pollock "The Enforcer" is a violent movie. That's what shapes it, sells it and ultimately sinks it. EDIT
Posted Aug 3, 2020
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) Tom Long It's... a lot of fun considering the fact it is also based on the antics of a bunch of mean little puppets. EDIT
Posted Jun 23, 2020
Reversal of Fortune (1990) Rick Chatenever Despite Silver's great energy, what's missing from the picture are the kind of insights necessary to explain any of the film's characters, including himself, in human terms. EDIT
Posted Jun 17, 2020
The Missouri Breaks (1976) Dale Pollock he Missouri Breaks is a unique film that is not necessarily a great film. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
Heaven Can Wait (1978) Rick Chatenever A pleasant little puff piece that is sure to be just loved by most of those who see it. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Rick Chatenever The film's slow pacing... detracts from and defuses what is in other respects, one of the more interesting screen imaginations at work today. EDIT
Posted Jun 14, 2020
Family Plot (1976) Dale Pollock If this film had been made by a director other than Alfred Hitchcock, the expectations may not have been as high. Such is the price of years of success. Family Plot, while not up to those usual standards, is still crackling good cinema. EDIT
Posted May 12, 2020
Yanks (1979) Rick Chatenever Yanks has a richness to it in both its technical and its human elements. Many of the episodes shine with emotional clarity and understanding, and they all reflect the sheen of Schlesinger's craft. EDIT
Posted Apr 16, 2020
Windy City (1984) Rick Chatenever Windy City's heart's in the right place -- it just doesn't quite have the soul to get past all the artificial contrivances of the plot. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Secrets (1982) Rick Chatenever It's not large enough to fill a movie screen in any way, shape or form... but it is kind of sweet. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Teachers (1984) Tom Long All of these people are very good in their parts, doing more with the characters than the script really implies and making them, if not believable, at least watchable. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
B Better Than Chocolate (1999) Catherine Graham Better Than Chocolate depicts the universal humor in the acts of seduction and coupling. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Flashpoint (1984) Tom Long There are a lot of nice touches spread throughout the movie. EDIT
Posted Apr 7, 2020
Bolero (1984) Rick Chatenever Some movies that didn't start out to be comedies wind up in the so-bad-that-they're-great category. Not this one. It's just so bad that it's awful. EDIT
Posted Mar 31, 2020
Summer Rental (1985) Rick Chatenever Between the script, which is awful, and the direction, which is lackluster, Candy and the others in front of the cameras don't have much of a chance. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
My Science Project (1985) Rick Chatenever The characters are flat, the plot is full of holes and everytime anything looks like it might get exciting, Betuel throws in something totally unbelievable to spoil it. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
Maria's Lovers (1984) J.A. Conner Maria's Lovers is a far cry -- if not a large howl -- from the emotion-Laced mature study of blossoming sexuality it was meant to be, for this thing is just such a silly, goofy soap opera that few will be fooled into taking seriously. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (1983) Rick Chatenever Enormous Changes seems less an effort to tell a story or series of stories than it is to make a point or series of points but something seems to have gotten lost on the way to the movie screen. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Real Genius (1985) Tom Long Real Genius isn't just a showcase for a new talent. It's a well-paced, extremely likable film about a number of things that are being beaten to death in the movies these days. It dares to be both intelligent and funny. Shouldn't we all? EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) J.A. Conner The results of all this are, in fact, pretty funny; not as funny as the first film, but still pretty funny, anyway. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Ladyhawke (1985) J.A. Conner Concerning the removal of a certain diabolical curse which keeps two lovers always together, yet always apart, Ladyhawke is a successful, unpretentious little film that uses strong characterization rather than special effects to achieve its goals. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
A- American History X (1998) Wallace Baine One of the year's more absorbing films. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
C Celebrity (1998) Peggy Fernandez There are few insights into what makes a celebrity or why people are drawn to them in this movie. But there is one about the writer/director, himself. Believe in your own myth too long, [and]people are going to start to realize that it isn't real. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
B+ Enemy of the State (1998) Michael Gaither Scott creates suspense by utilizing believable technology and realistic, well-grounded characters. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
A Without Limits (1998) Catherine Graham Dazzling, violent, star-driven thrill rides are routine. Finding an intelligent, well-written, old-fashioned movie-movie has become an event. Thus, it is a thrill to watch Without Limits. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
A Love in Germany (1983) J.A. Conner A Love in Germany is a maudlin mess of a movie that infuriates when it should fascinate, an artless attempt at high drama and political relevance that stumbles and fails at every turn. EDIT
Posted Mar 24, 2020
Places in the Heart (1984) Rick Chatenever Places of the Heart, too, seems an idealized vision of a film that might have been, but just didn't quite survive the journey from Robert Benton's heart to the audience's. EDIT
Posted Mar 23, 2020
Charade (1963) Leslie Dard Throw in some interesting corpses, some thrilling action scenes and piquant moments of romance and you have it. A thoroughly polished comedy. EDIT
Posted Mar 3, 2020
The Deer Hunter (1978) Rick Chatenever [The Deer Hunter] is the most ambitious attempt to grapple with the subject that has yet been released. Its vision -- an effort to weave the inferno of Vietnam into the homespun texture of American life -- is effectively realized and savagely gripping. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
The Fog (1980) Rick Chatenever The Fog has so many things right about it in the early going that when it comes apart, the whole thing seems that much worse. EDIT
Posted Jan 29, 2020
Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) Rick Chatenever The performances, by turns, smolder, ignite and explode in this haunting, highly original drama. EDIT
Posted Dec 11, 2019
The Jigsaw Man (1984) Rick Chatenever Unfortunately, even with the venerable Sir Laurence Olivier and the usually durable Michael Caine heading the credits, this espionage escapade gives very few insights into the whole international spy game. EDIT
Posted Dec 10, 2019
Cannery Row (1982) Rick Chatenever Cannery Row falls a long way short of being a great movie -- but it does just fine as a pretty good one. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
My Dinner With Andre (1981) Rick Chatenever My Dinner With Andre elevates the simple activity of conversation to a fine -- and lively -- art. It is a film rich in ideas and brimming with very honest humanity. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019
Circle of Deceit (1981) Rick Chatenever It is a rough film to sit through, but sitting through it is definitely a worthwhile and illuminating experience. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2019