‘Great Expectations’ 1998

Based on Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, this is a story of the love of a man for an unreachable woman. Updated to modern day New York City, the story concerns a man of modest background who falls in love with a rich girl. But when a mysterious benefactor greenlights the man to make his dreams come true, everything done has the ultimate goal of making Estella fall in love with him…

‘La Vendedora de Rosas’ 1998

13-year-old Monica leads a street life, making her living by selling flowers to couples in local nightspots, she is joined by 10-year-old Andrea who runs out of her house after her mother beats her.

This is not a movie to entertain, it is meant to open the viewer’s eyes to the “invisible” world of homeless children in Latin America. This is more a documentary than a film but the plot, based loosely on Han Christian Anderson’s “The Match Stick Girl,” is strong and compelling. Painful to watch at times, it is meant to be disturbing. Which is why I can say it I liked it and I recommend it, even though it haunted me and robbed me of sleep and I don’t believe I will ever see it again.

These young people survive in the streets with no supervision and no one to provide for them, yet they are still going through the same tumultuous problems of the average teen; boyfriend-girlfriend troubles, gossip, friendship betrayal, and so on…and they cope with all their problems by sniffing glue. With the effects of the glue showing itself in these children one scene after the other it can seem to be too much as the plot begins to come together.

It is my understanding that the majority of the children were not actors but real street kids, and although the plot was scripted by the filmmaker the children were just being themselves, showing us a voyeuristic peek into their lives. And on a more disturbing note; none of these children have survived the street.

‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ 1998

Journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr Gonzo drive from LA to Las Vegas on a drugs binge. They nominally cover news stories, including a convention on drug abuse, but also sink deeper into a frightening psychedelic otherworld. As Vietnam, Altamont and the Tate killings impinge from the world of TV news, Duke and Gonzo see casinos, reptiles and the American dream.

Parents need to know that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a two-hour celebration of drugs, foul language, and debauchery, with little or no consequences, redemption, or lessons learned. Lead character Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) is based on famous “Gonzo” journalist Hunter S. Thompson — but there’s little actual writing going on in the movie amid the fog of drugs, drinking, and swearing. Although little actual sex is shown, there’s plenty of violent and depraved sexual imagery in the dialogue, yet another reason this movie absolutely isn’t for kids. But for adults — especially those already inducted into the Thompson cult — the movie is a hilarious cult favorite.

As directed by Terry Gilliam, this seemingly pointless celebration of bad behavior is also a hilarious and crazily visual comedy for adults already inducted into the Hunter S. Thompson cult. The movie sets a bizarre, frantic pace and sustains it successfully for its entire running time. Gilliam’s extraordinary camerawork — as well as weird makeup and visual effects — attempts to capture the feel of a real drug trip, as well as some imaginatively trashed hotel rooms afterward.   – Common Sense Media