The 5th Annual Mega Movie Guide
'Toy Story 2,' 'Stuart Little,' and 'The Green Mile' are among the favorite films this holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? Aside from reviewing almost every 1999 release, this guide is full of features like the family films (page B5), the results of our reader-favorites poll (B8), and the surprise hits (B12). Start below, where critic David Sterritt picks his Top 10. And now, sit back and enjoy our feature presentation ...
David Sterritt Monitor panel Meaning
**** **** Excellent
*** *** Good
** ** Fair
* * Poor
DUD DUD The Worst
Red stars denote the reviews of Monitor movie critic David Sterritt unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor panel (blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other moviegoers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the Monitor panel.
Motion picture Association of America ratings are as follows:
G General Audiences: All ages admitted.
PG Parental Guidance: Some material may not be suitable for children.
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
R Restricted: Children under 17 require accompanying parent or adult guardian.
NC-17 No Children Under 17 Admitted: Age may vary in certain areas.
1999 THEATER RELEASES
The Acid House (Not rated) ** Director: Paul McGuigan. With Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Jemma Redgrave. (106 min.)
Three stories of working-class life in Scotland, focusing largely on drugs, degradation, and despair. Two of the tales veer into fantasy that partly defuses their unhappy atmosphere, but the central episode is a powerful melodrama. In Scottish dialect with English subtitles
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (G) **1/2 Director: Gary Halvorson. With Kevin Clash, Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa L. Williams, Sonia Manzano. (73 min.)
Elmo has lost his blanket, and nothing can deter him from getting it back from a villain named Huxley (Patinkin). The musical numbers are cute and catchy, though they can be a bit rowdy in typical Sesame Street fashion. The characters are endearing. Children will learn lessons in sharing and how to find courage in sometimes scary situations. By Katherine Dillin
Sex/Nudity/Profanity/Drugs: None Violence: 7 instances of cartoonish violence.
After Life (Not rated) *** Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda. With Oda Erika, Arata, Naito Taketoshi, Tani Kei, Naito Takashi. (118 min.)
The setting of this gentle Japanese allegory is a homely old building where newly deceased people are asked to choose their most valued memory. The premise seems strained at first, but the fantasy builds delicate emotional power as it explores the lives and wishes of its ghostly "movie producers" as well as the people they're trying to serve. …