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  • Issue Archive for
  • Feb 20-26, 2002
  • Vol. 22, No. 19

News & Views

Arts & Culture


  • Italian for Beginners

    Serious layer-peeling is required to get to director Lone Scherfig's pleasantly inconsequential story of three couples fated to eventually get together. It's a combination of the charming and the grotesque being touted as a saucy romp, but be warned: The sauce has a few poison mushrooms in it.
  • Très cool

    Jean-Pierre Melville’s moody foray into the sunset of French noir.
  • John Q

    As congenitally flawed as the heart of its titular character’s son, John Q is both a ridiculous and poorly told revenge fantasy on the HMO and hospital industry and a perverted cliché of a fanfare for the common man — with Denzel Washington.
  • Crossroads

    Who was it that gave popular singers carte blanche to act in films? Move over, girls, because the ubiquitous Britney Spears is following suit. She’s already got a built-in, primarily female teenybopper audience, so the obvious choice is to direct the film to what interests them. In this light, it’s just left of brilliant.
  • Blue-collar burgers

    It may not be the best burger you ever ate in your life, but with 7 ounces of Black Angus beef and a crusty, French Vienna roll, it's definitely one of the finer bar burgers out there. This basic neighborhood blue-collar bar also serves up a tasty, enormous steak sandwich, plus nightly specials like Wednesday's huge plate of meat-sauced spaghetti and Friday's beer-battered cod. All are way above your barroom average, with extra-large portions and prices that could attract even those who aren’t barflies.
  • Metropolis

    Not a remake of the 1926 German silent classic by Fritz Lang, this Japanese anime explosion inspired by Osamu Tezuka’s 1949 manga comic of the same name is set in a sci-fi future and combines detective-story action with political intrigue on the way to foregrounding science-vs.-morality issues a la Frankenstein. It’s absolutely spectacular.
  • Hart's War

    Begging comparison to that classic World War II POW movie, Stalag 17 (1953), this project escapes all of the latter’s lighthearted shtick and most of its Hollywood dialogue and melodrama, while grimly generating deep questions of race, law and politics that haven’t been exhumed since 1984’s A Soldier’s Story.

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