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PICK OF THE FLICKS: THESE WERE 1998'S BEST


Posted 01-11-99

The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News (Stuart,FL)
01-01-99
By Page D1
5 black and white photos. Non-Xena.

COMMENTARY
Xena mention in passing in a discussion of Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan (made #7 in Shipes top ten movies of 1998).

EXCERPTS

PRIMARY SOURCE

   Another year, another year-end compilation of favorite movies to fondly
reminisce, argue over and recommend to friends. Forget the Armageddons - if you
haven't already - the following films possessed an earnest desire to break from
tradition and share stories, ideas and visions that enrich our world view. Their
total box-office grosses probably wouldn't equal one Deep Impact, but their
influence and quality endure.  

[snip]

   7. A Simple Plan
   Money changes everything. Director Sam Raimi leaves the whizz-bang
pyrotechnics of his past successes (Evil Dead II, Darkman, Xena) behind for this
pensive winter parable about greed, betrayal and corruption. Two brothers and
their drinking buddy come across a wrecked fuselage in the snow-laden forest of
their Midwestern town. Upon finding more than $ 4 million inside the plane,
their lives will be forever changed. Sibling rivalries surface, loyalties
between friends become strained and a "simple plan" of keeping the money
escalates beyond their wildest dreams.
   With the white-on-white surrealism of Fargo and the classic moral pull of
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Raimi never makes an unnecessary step in his
methodical storytelling. A remarkable cast including Bill Paxton, Billy Bob
Thornton, Brent Briscoe and Bridget Fonda never resort to cliches and the taut
script allows the characters onscreen to behave just as the audience viewer
would in the same situation, until ... well, you'll just have to see for
yourself.

[snip]

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