"eXistenZ," "Goodbye Lover," "Foolish," and on video, "Babe: Pig in the City" and "You've Got Mail" 

Quick Flicks

eXistenZGoodbye LoverFoolishNow On Video: Babe: Pig in the CityNow On Video: You've Got Mail

"eXistenZ" This virtual-reality stunner from creepmeister David Cronenberg is for folks who find the artsy exploration of provocative ideas more thrilling than flashy special effects and killer action sequences. In other words, it is the thinking man's (or woman's) "Matrix."

The movie spins around Allegra (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the creator of a game called "eXistenZ." To play, you download it directly into your nervous system. When an anti-nihilist damages her game pod, Allegra and "control freak" Ted Pikul (Jude Law) must enter the game to save it.

Once inside, Cronenberg use Allegra and Pikul to explore the meat of his message: that the world has become so cyber-obsessed that we prefer simulation to reality. Interesting and icky.

"Goodbye Lover" This by-the-book film noir escapade could use some likable characters. Don Johnson, Dermot Mulroney, Patricia Arquette, Mary-Louise Parker and Ellen DeGeneres all talk the hard-boiled talk and walk the cynical walk required of such noir films, but they never quite get us hooked.

All about deceit, greed and cops who appear to be unable to find a clue even if it were written in the powdered sugar on their doughnut, "Goodbye Lover" never quite rises above the norm. Although director Roland Joffé maintains a suitably rapid pace, "Goodbye Lover" relies too heavily on stock personality types and clichéd plot twists.

"Foolish" If you fork over good money on this lesser vehicle for comic Eddie Griffin, you'll feel more than foolish. While I admit to enjoying Griffin's work on the WB comedy "Malcolm & Eddie," I was not prepared for this uninspired showcase for Griffin's stand-up routine. The near nonstop racial and genital jokes zapped me of the will to live.

Now On Video

"Babe: Pig in the City" A darker second take on the affable, original box-office blockbuster, this time out our porcine hero must make his way in the big bad city. Though there's peril and pain at every turn, our Babe perseveres with his good heart intact. Unlike the original, this one can't be recommended for all ages. The wee ones will be frightened by scenes with Babe in danger. OK, even I found them uncomfortable.

Now On Video

"You've Got Mail" Those sweethearts of the cinema — Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan — reunite with their "Sleepless in Seattle" director and screenwriter for another helping of romantic cuteness. But this time out the two lovers are restless in cyberspace.

A perfect date rental, this movie doesn't require one's total attention to be enjoyable, if you get my drift. Truthfully, paying close attention might lessen the experience. Just take this carefully constructed and cheery concoction at face value and it is a pleasant time. After all, Hanks and Ryan more than meet the necessary cute quotient.


Latest in Miscellany


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Museum Makeovers

    Museum Makeovers

    How four Richmond museums are being transformed.
    • Jul 20, 2021
  • To Have and To Hold

    To Have and To Hold

    Wrestling returns to Richmond with UEW’s ‘Resurrection.’
    • Jul 20, 2021
  • Deep Dive

    Deep Dive

    A writer attempts to find the best dive bars in town.
    • Jul 13, 2021
  • One Stop Shop

    One Stop Shop

    Jackson Ward’s beloved Stoplight Gelato set to reopen this fall with a new partner, Richmond Seltzer Co.
    • Jul 13, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation