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Thursday, February 13, 1992
you won’t miss
I've got a problem, people,
and it's not pretty. It's probably
the absolute worst problem that a
reviewer can have: indecision.
Being a film critic, and thus
being in a position of high
influence (at least for those who
care to read this), how can I make
a recommendation to you as to
whether a movie is worth seeing
when I can't even decide whether
I liked it?
It's a tough problem, but I
think that I have come up with a
solution to it. Here it goes - tell
me if it works...the movie is
Final Analysis has Richard
Gere, once again, in his usual
drop-dead-stud role that he has
played in his last 10-odd films.
The difference is this time his
occupation is that of a
psychiatrist, Isaac Barr. A
psychiatrist that specializes in
getting criminals off with
temporary insanity pleas.
"" Isaac is treating a beautiful
(and twisted) young woman
named Diana who has a recurring
dream in which she arranges
flowers on a table and then
torches them. Diana feels that
for Isaac to help her, he must
first talk to her knock-out sister
(Kim Bassinger) who seems to
know some family secrets that
Diana has blocked out.
But Heather (Bassinger) has
problems of her own too. You
see, she has a medical problem
called Pathological Alcoholism
(which means that the induction
of the most minute quantities of
alcohol into her system
transforms her from lovable
bimbo to psychotic bitch).
Naturally, Gere, seeing a
woman with troubles, and surely
taking a cue from Prince of
Tides, sees fit to make Heather
another notch in his filmatic
bedpost, and, during their post
sex chit-chat, realizes he has
fallen for her.
Member class of the
KDoflto CM Frateinmndys
Alan Cornell Brett Erway
Chris Green Marc Selvitelli
Andrew Semon Tom Slye
I Sean Tucker |
Now, this would be the
perfect Doctor/Patient’s Sister
relationship if it wasn't for
Gangster' husband (played by the
wonderful, scenery-chewing Eric
Roberts). But Heather is quick to
dispose of this hindrance.
You see, she 'accidentally'
gets hopped up on Nyquil and
splits open the old-man's head
with a dumbbell, a crime that she
knows Isaac can certainly save
her from being prosecuted f0r....
What I have just explained is
the first hour of a two hour-plus
movie; an hour that sounds good
on paper, but on the the big
screen turns out to be an
unintentionally funny piece of
The acting is uneven at best.
The characters gain no sympathy
from us. The direction (by whiz
kid Phil Janou who made 1990's
mob masterpiece, State of Grace)
is ssslllooowww , and the
dialogue is so bad that the
audience I saw the film with was
laughing out loud.
So, you ask, wh&l's my
problem? Well, my problem is I
want you to see this movie, I
just want you to show up an
hour late. Now that you know
the entire first half of the story,
show up late and enjoy the movie
You see, the second half of
the flick is great - full of plot
twists and deceptions and
violence - and it is just
impossible to truly enjoy after
you have fallen asleep and you've
lost interest so much that you've
been arguing with your date
about the ingredients of SPAM
for the past 15 minutes.
I have told you the entire first
half in the hopes that you will
not feel the need to see it now,
and I have told you nothing about
the second-half because I don't
want to spoil even one minute of
Problem solved -1 feel much
Shirting Through all the rest
Griffith and Douglas give their
best performances to date
by Christi Luden
When a film contains passion,
suspense, history, one of the best
actors, and the best actress in the
movie industry...what more could
you possibly ask for?
Shining Through stars Michael
Douglas as Ed Leland and
Melanie Griffith as Linda Voss
and combines all the above
mentioned characteristics into a
spectacular hit - one that you
could watch over and over and get
something different out of it
Voss is a fiesty, half-Jewish
woman in search of a
professional job. When a
company realizes she can speak
German, they hire her as a
secretary for a powerful, but
supposedly mean and cruel big
shot in their company (Douglas).
Upon their first meeting, there
is strong chemistry between these
two individuals and the
constantly straight-faced Mr.
Leland even cracks a smile. Not
too long after this scene, the
dramatic plot of the film begins
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with the first sex scene between
Leland and Voss, and the hot and
heavy nature of it sets the stage
for the rest of this suspense-filled
As Voss works closely with
Leland, she begins to notice odd
things happening day in and day
out. He dictates letters to her in
confusing and nonsensical prose
and seems to be constantly
sending and receiving Top Secret
Since her favorite hobby is
watching and almost memorizing
spy films, Linda begins jumping
to conclusions about Leland's real
profession. Later we find out her
seemingly fabricated accusations
toward Leland are true and this
begins the heart of the film.
After much persuasion Voss
convinces Leland to let her go to
Germany as a spy. Although she
has had no formal training, she
feels confident in her abilities,
can speak German and has a
vested interest in stopping Hitler
and his Third Reich since she has
Jewish family members hiding
somewhere in Germany.
The rest of the film is a gut-
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wrenching drama that keeps
everyone holding their breath and
sitting on the edge of their seats.
It includes love, strong emotional
scenes, betrayal, strength and
somewhat of a feeling of what it
was like to be in Germany during
this horrible time.
Griffith plays Voss
wonderfully combining her soft
and female characteristics with
the strength of a woman with a
genuine conviction and purpose.
Douglas fits Leland's character
as a stone-faced and callous man
that is actually caring and loving,
but too scared to show it.
Director David Seltzer does a
spectacular job combining the
historical facts with a strong and
thrilling storyline that never lets
you relax until the credits are
scrolling up on the screen at the
The film's motto even
demonstrates the drama present
throughout: "He needed to trust
her with his secret. She had to
trust him with her life."