Between the Lines

D: Joan Micklin Silver; with John Heard, Lindsay Crouse, Jeff Goldblum, Gwen Welles, Stephen Collins, Marilu Henner, Bruno Kirby, Jill Eikenberry, Michael J. Pollard, Joe Morton, Lane Smith.
VHS Home Video
Encore Movies and Music, 8820 Burnet

There's no way for us to modestly skirt this film's effect: This story of an underground paper in Boston facing corporate buy-out was the inspiration for starting the newspaper you hold in your hand. And so this ensemble production weaves its way through the lives of its free (and not-so-free) spirited staff with truer-than-true life vignettes and characters: the squirrely rock critic; an editor caught between integrity and survival; the pompous ad salesman; the ambitious features writers and photographers sorting through intricate webs of love and lovers, past and present. Its appearance seems quite dated now, but that only gives it the comfortable feel of a pair of bell-bottom jeans, with passion and struggle reinforced within its frames like a leather patch stitched over a frayed denim knee.

-- Margaret Moser

Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail

7th Level

Don't forget your coconuts for this one. 7th Level's follow-up to their very successful CD-ROM Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time is Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail. Here, the British comedy troupe's crowning film achievement has been sliced and diced into a fairly simple yet highly comical game that takes you through King Arthur's travels in the quest for the Holy Grail. In your travels, additional games (all worthy for their silliness) such as "Drop Dead," "Catch the Cow," and "Spank the Virgin" can also be played. And if you're just looking to get nostalgic, bunches of film clips from the original movie can also be accessed. -- Carl Bacher

Crossing Delancey

D: Joan Micklin Silver; with Amy Irving, Peter Riegert, Jeroen Krabbe, Sylvia Miles, Suzzy Roche.
VHS Home Video
Encore Movies and Music, 8820 Burnet

Director Silver's talent may simply lie in her ability to focus on the nuances of everyday life, and integrate them imperceptibly into her films (Between the Lines, Hester Street), so that the viewer walks away with a sense of voyeuristic pleasure. That sensibility works especially well with Amy Irving's spirited New York bookstore clerk whose grand dreams of rising out of her Jewish neighborhood are stalled when she finds love in the daily bustle of Manhattan with pickle purveyor Peter Riegert via matchmaker Sylvia Miles (who, by the way, hasn't had a role this good since Midnight Cowboy). Memorable characters include Reizl Bozyk as Irving's lovingly feisty grandmother, Jeroen Krabbe as the charmingly self-absorbed writer Irving falls for, and Suzzy Roche as Irving's quirky baseball-loving pal. -- Margaret Moser


Kali, Inc.
Shareware for DOS and Windows 95

Everyone's been telling you to check out all of these multi-player games, but you aren't lucky enough to have a job that comes with access to a network of computers available for after-hours gaming? Well, hope has arisen in the form of Kali. Kali is software that will set up a modem connection via your Internet service provider with one of scores of Kali servers around the globe. The servers are quite popular, and you should be able to find people to play at nearly any time of the day or night. The DOS version is a bit intimidating to configure, but the Windows 95 version is a breeze. Unfortunately, your gaming sessions will be limited to 15 minutes until you register the software for $20. For more information, check out Kali's website: -- Kurt Dillard

Girl 6

D: Spike Lee; with Theresa Randle, Isaiah Washington, Spike Lee, Jennifer Lewis, John Turturro, Madonna, Quentin Tarantino, Naomi Campbell.
VHS Home Video

Although Girl 6 falls victim to the hokey excesses that Lee is at times apt to succumb, this movie's merits far outweigh its overindulgences. It is a fascinating film, concerned with far more than its ostensible subject -- a struggling actor's stint as a phone sex operator. Lee takes interest in Girl 6's search for identity, and he plumbs her imagination with a panache rarely seen in wide-release films. Add to that its soundtrack, which is a near homage to Prince, and its visual delights (over 50 costume changes for Girl 6 alone), and Girl 6 rises to the stoutly insightful and absorbing movie it is. -- Clay Smith

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