From the Archive: The Cutting Edge and Straight Talk

This might be a good place to acknowledge that I was dead wrong in my presumptive assessment of The Babe as one of the more interesting movies of the spring of 1992. The Player is great (that’s the film I was really pining for). Unfortunately, it took long enough to get to our town that it arrived on the same weekend as Batman Returns, which played to full houses while Robert Altman’s masterful film sold a couple tickets per showing. I don’t have much to add about the two films reviewed. Even in the capsules here, it’s clear I didn’t have much to say about them.

As the promotion begins to get hot and heavy for the summer movie season (about a million different “Batman Returns” products should be hitting the mall any day now), movie viewers who want to catch something interesting right now have a sparse selection. This is especially true in Stevens Point, where many of the spring’s most interesting projects (“The Babe,” Robert Altman’s “The Player”) haven’t even hit town yet. Much of what is showing in the area should have people flocking to video stores rather than local theaters.

THE CUTTING EDGE: D.B. Sweeney is an ex-hockey player whose promising career ended abruptly after a particularly nasty check into the boards damaged his sight. Moira Kelly is an overly demanding figure skater who drives away all of her partners. The two are thrown together in hopes of Olympic gold and eventually transcend their differences to achieve glory and romance.

Unfortunately, the romance is a predictable bore and the figure skating sequences are poorly shot, preventing anything but a glimpse of how they work together on the ice. The two performers have their fair share of charm and chemistry, but the script is desperately lacking in substance that they get buried beneath the tedium.

STRAIGHT TALK: There’s some interesting potential in the brief explorations of media manipulation and the downside of pop psychology in the latest Dolly Parton star vehicle, but those facets are quickly glossed over in favor of a dull romance with James Woods and Southern hokum.

Parton becomes a media sensation when she mistakenly takes the role of a radio psychologist at a Chicago radio station and presumes to solve complex emotional problems with straightforward common sense. Though the movie is occasionally likable, it’s rarely ambitious enough to be more than a meaningless showcase for a new batch of Parton’s country-pop tunes.

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