|Movie Swingers (Miramax). Word-of-mouth and small, but enthusiastic, reviews are turning this low-budget ($250,000) comedy into an art-house hit. Variety reports that Swingers, the story of several Hollywood guys on the prowl for success and girls, is currently the most lucrative limited-release film on the market. Featuring a Diner-style ensemble cast of young guys making hip banter, and set in several functioning Los Angeles clubs, the movie is being praised for its unpretentious charm, "exuberantly witty script" (Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman) and "beguiling fantasy of comradeship" (Richard Corliss in Time). Swingers also is responsible for the mainstreaming of an otherwise obscure musical scene: lounge culture, a movement involving Rat Pack-style crooners, retro decor, and nightclubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.|
|Television Titanic (Sunday, Nov. 17, and Tuesday, Nov. 19; 9 p.m.; CBS). This two-part television movie about the ill-fated luxury liner journey of 1912 gets all the sinking-ship jokes its name invites. "The makers of 'Titanic' might have benefited from more modest aspirations," writes the Los Angeles Times' Jon Matsumoto, one of the many critics to ridicule the movie's bloat. Tom Shales of the Washington Post says that the passengers are so boring "you start to root for the iceberg." (CBS' site includes stills and some Titanic facts in the " What happened to ..." section.)|
|Theater Chicago (on Broadway). This 1975 Bob Fosse musical received mixed reviews the first time around, but amid the current Broadway offerings (Andrew Lloyd Webber spectacles and tired remakes of familiar vehicles), critics are discovering new charms in Chicago. Dancer Ann Reinking's adaptation of Fosse's choreography, says Newsweek's Mark Peyser, is "a string of hormonal show-stoppers." The dark plot about a nightclub dancer who kills her lover "hasn't merely aged well; it has come of age," says Time's Richard Zoglin. Its self-consciousness makes it a production for our time, says the New York Times' Ben Brantley: It "buzzes with an implicit, irresistibly arrogant declaration: 'Watch me.' "|
--Compiled by David Greenberg.
Photograph from The Mirror Has Two Faces by David James © 1996 Sony Pictures Entertainment Co. All rights reserved. Photograph from In Cold Blood by Joe Lederer © 1996 CBS Inc. All rights reserved.