Lisa Schwarzbaum says that if you must see a movie that opens in the next two weeks, go at your own risk

By EW Staff
Updated January 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST
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If you go to a movie that opens in the next two weeks, you have only yourself to blame. I say this not even having yet seen ”Varsity Blues,” starring WB hottie of the moment James Van Der Beek. Or ”Virus,” starring scream queen of the millennium Jamie Lee Curtis. Or ”At First Sight,” starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino in a misty medical drama one dismaying tagline for which is ”Science gave him sight. She gave him vision.” For all I know, these will be three richly rewarding moviegoing experiences. Then again, for all I know, President Bill Clinton will appear in a very special episode of ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

The odds, though, are against any previously unreleased high-quality cinematic entertainment making its way to a theater near you for the moment. And there are some good reasons for this.

For one thing, a lot of the really terrific stuff that opened in the last two weeks of December, in two movie theaters only, in inconvenient parts of town, in cities you don’t even live in, just to qualify for Oscar consideration, are now opening wider. Now’s the time to see ”The Thin Red Line,” ”Waking Ned Devine,” and ”Shakespeare in Love.” Now’s the chance to see ”A Simple Plan,” and, for that matter, to get into ”A Bug’s Life,” which was sold out throughout the December school holidays. Now’s even the time to see ”Babe: Pig in the City,” which you always intended to see, except you decided to see ”A Bug’s Life” instead, and when you couldn’t get in, you bagged it and went out for pizza.

Mostly, though, the sorry-assed lineup of new movies at the start of the new year is nature’s way of telling you to STAY HOME AND READ A BOOK. I’m reading Tom Wolfe’s ”A Man in Full,” which is so…rollicking! so…big and bawdy! so…entertaining! that I can’t put it down. This means I haul it with me on the subways of New York, which is a pain but at least it also builds…attractive biceps!

So here’s my question: What are you reading these days? And what are the chances that Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino have…chemistry?


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