David Ansen

Stories by David Ansen

  • Immaterial Affections

    Hollywood's definition of a perfect couple is a man and a woman, one of I whom is dead. How else to explain the preponderance of ghostly love stories haunting the screen? Now, just six months after Richard Dreyfuss returned from heaven to voyeuristically snoop on his mate in "Always," here's the ghostly Patrick Swayze mooning over his grieving girlfriend, Demi Moore, in Ghost. Swayze, a corporate banker, has just been killed by a New York mugger, but his spirit is still hanging around his Tribeca loft when he I discovers Moore's life is in danger. How can he save her when he's immaterial? Enter Whoopi Goldberg as Sister Oda Mae Brown, a quack spiritual adviser. Imagine her surprise, after years of faking communication with the dead, when this white boy starts talking to her from beyond the grave, and won't leave her in peace until she gets involved in saving Demi--and helping Patrick track down the man who murdered him. ...
  • A Blue-Collar James Bond

    How could the same s--happen to the same guy twice?" wonders the battered and bruised John McClane (Bruce Willis), and anybody who saw "Die Hard" laughs at the joke. The first Christmas it was the Nakatomi high-rise in Century City. This Christmas it's the airport in Washington, D.C. The L.A. cop is minding his own business, waiting for a plane carrying his wife (Bonnie Bedelia), when all hell breaks loose. It seems "the biggest drug dealer in the world," an evil Central American dictator (Franco Nero), is en route to Washington to stand trial, and a crack unit of terrorists led by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) seizes control of the airport to facilitate the drug lord's escape. With a storm closing in and the airport's power and communication links taken over by the terrorists, everyone on all incoming flights is in deadly peril--including Mrs. McClane, who happens to be on the same plane as the craven TV journalist Thornberg (William Atherton), back for another round of abuse....
  • If It Only Had A Heart

    If you thought Old Detroit was going to the dogs in "RoboCop," wait till you see what horrors lurk in RoboCop 2. Crime is rampant in the streets, the city has gone bankrupt, the police are on strike and half the population seems to be strung out on a deadly new drug called Nuke. All of this looks like good news to Omni Consumer Products (OCP), the heartless corporation that runs the police department and, as it turns out, wants to foreclose on the city itself. "We're taking Detroit private!" OCP announces with greedy glee, smelling profit in urban chaos. ...
  • Tracymania

    It's that guy in the yellow overcoat again. Have the feeling you've seen him somewhere before? Like, maybe, everywhere you turn? And now here he is on the cover of NEWSWEEK. Small world, isn't it? And now here you are, actually reading another story about William Bendix in "Brick Lacy." ...
  • Gremlins In The Halls Of Greed

    Gremlins 2 The New Batch is director Joe Dante's best film since . . . well, since "Gremlins." There's something about these madcap devil dolls that liberates Dante's infernal imagination. His satirical sensibility gets to run riot in this sequel. Abandoning the small-town setting of the original, Charlie Haas's sharp script--a happy mixture of sophistication and utter silliness--relocates the gremlins in the heart of corporate America: inside the sleek New York office tower of real estate and media mogul Daniel Clamp (John Glover), a megalomaniac billionaire who is one part Donald Trump, one part Ted Turner. (The loudspeakers in his building announce the showing on his cable network of "Casablanca," in a new colorized version with "a happier ending.") ...
  • David Lynch's New Peak

    When you're hot you're hot. Even before David Lynch walked off with the Cannes Film Festival's top prize the Palme d'Or, for his flammable new film "Wild at Heart," Lynchmania had infected the Cote d'Azur. Each Thursday night during the festival, the American Pavilion threw a "Twin Peaks" party (serving pie and a good cup of black coffee) for crowds of "Peak" addicts who, ignoring the hundreds of new movies unreeling around them, preferred to huddle in front of TV monitors watching tapes of the latest episode from the United States. The first screening of "Wild at Heart"--at 8:30 in the morning--was so eagerly anticipated that the 2,400-seat Grand Auditorium Lumiere was half full of sleepy souls by 8. When the film ended, with the Elvis-like Nicolas Cage atop a car crooning "Love Me Tender" to Laura Dern, the audience broke into wild cheering. After a steady diet of lugubrious and sometimes immobile films from around the world, Lynch's lurid comic melodrama was a blast of freshly...