Francis Veber had written plays, TV shows, and films. He had also directed plenty of well by the time he decided to adapt his hit play “Le Dîner de Cons” for the big screen. Luckily, his brand of farcical humor worked brilliantly with the film version, and it became a huge hit in his home country of France. Join us as we continue our Francis Veber & His Remakes series with his 1998 film “Le Dîner de Cons.”

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With the success of Star Trek: First Contact, a more action-oriented Star Trek film, the team behind it wanted their next film to be lighter in tone and more character-driven. To a certain extent, that’s exactly what audiences got, and a lot of people were disappointed because they were expecting so much more. Join us as we continue our Star Trek series with Jonathan Frakes’ 1998 film Star Trek: Insurrection

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Time heals all wounds, but the rift between Jeffrey Katzenberg and Disney may not apply. When Katzenberg, former chairman of Disney’s film division, left Disney after a bitter feud with CEO Michael Eisner, he formed DreamWorks with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen and soon began plotting his battle in animation with his former employer. So while Disney began working with Pixar on A Bug’s Life, he started working on Antz. And the great cinema battle of 1998 began. And while time may never heal the rift between Katzenberg and Disney, it certainly has shown us that Pixar knows how to make strong films and with their second film, they proved that they had staying power, regardless of what DreamWorks put out. 

Join us – Andy Nelson and Pete Wright – as we continue our Seven Samurai Family series with John Lasseter’s and Andrew Stanton’s 1998 A Bug’s Life.

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This month we get to meet Truman, Teddy, and Rhoda, three people who, to put it simply, have issues they need to deal with. You may think you know yourself and what you are or aren’t capable of, but you’re probably wrong.

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It seems appropriate to the character of the Dude that “The Big Lebowski” took its time finding its audience. Coming fresh on the heels of their first Oscar-winning hit, “Fargo,” the Coen Brothers’ 7th film had a strange sense of humor, felt disjointed, was full of swearing, and didn’t connect with audiences or critics, who were all largely left scratching their heads. But time was on the side of the movie as people continued to discover it, turning it into a much-loved cult classic — with its own annual festival even. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Coen Comedy series with 1998’s “The Big Lebowski.”

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Bryan Singer’s film “Apt Pupil” was actually the second time the film was under production; the first attempt had several casting issues and when it finally started shooting, ended up running out of funds, killing the project. Perhaps that was a sign that Stephen King’s novella was a bit too tricky to make correctly. It’s a very dark story that doesn’t really have any likable characters in it. Singer’s 1998 adaptation toned much of the violence from the book down, but also took a different angle with the ending that many people, including us, felt didn’t work. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our epic Stephen King adaptation series with Singer’s “Apt Pupil.”

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“Run Lola Run” came out during a period when lots of unique and truly fantastic films were opening up in theaters. Luckily for Lola, it was equally unique and fantastic, ensuring that it didn’t get buried. Tom Tykwer’s wild film, so thoroughly infused with energy and style, took a simple tale of a woman trying to (quickly) raise money for her boyfriend to ensure he doesn’t get killed by the gangsters for which he works, and gave it a philosophical bent when he decided to write it in almost a video game style where we see the same situation play out three times. It’s an absolutely fascinating film to watch and a very easy film to enjoy. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Foreign Language Film series with this thrill of a film.

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David Mamet has made a name for himself as a playwright, as a screenwriter, as an author, and as a writer/director. His fifth film that he wrote and directed, “The Spanish Prisoner,” didn’t make many waves when it came out in 1998, but it seemed to impress the critics and it ended up in the black. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we begin a short David Mamet Directs series by talking about this film.

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With all the franchises, spin-offs and films based on other mediums these days, it seems rare to find original sci-fi films. That inspired us to do a series of original sci-fi films, and we’re starting with one of our favorites. In 1998, Alex Proyas created a fantastic and wholly unique science fiction film, Dark City, that unfortunately bombed at the box office but has since proven to be a cult hit in the after markets. This film, a neo-noir sci-fi with a very mysterious twist, follows a man with amnesia as he tries to uncover who he is, why nothing seems to make sense, and why he woke up at the scene of a murder. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — this week on The Next Reel as we begin our Original Sci-Fi series with Proyas’ Dark City.

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One of John Frankenheimer’s best films came late in his career — 1998’s Ronin. A seemingly simple story about a group of mercenaries who take a job trying to get a mysterious case is twisted around with double-crosses and plot twists, and becomes a perfect example of Hitchcock’s MacGuffin.

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