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  • Issue of
  • Jun 15-21, 2005
  • Vol. 25, No. 35

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • High Tension

    This imported French horror flick is taut and graphic, recalling some of better slasher pics of the ’70s, particularly John Carpenter’s Halloween. However, the dubbed dialogue and ridiculous plot twists outweigh its handful of effective terror scenes.
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  • The Scene
  • The Honeymooners

    The summer of the TV remake kicks off with this big-screen adaptation of the ’50s working-class sitcom. The new Honeymooners appropriately casts Cedric the Entertainer in the role Jackie Gleason made famous, and while the film falls a little short on laughs, the good-natured cast almost makes it worth a look.
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  • The Scene
  • Another Road Home

    Israeli filmmaker Danae Elon’s documentary about finding the Palestinian man who raised her is a very personal and rare look at the private relationships between Israelis and Palestinians, and the intimacy is tainted only by what seems to be the director’s reluctance to fully embrace her starring role in the film. Her intimate and loving portrait is satisfying to some extent, but would be far more compelling had we gotten her side of the story too.
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  • The Scene
  • Dot the i

    Dot the i has been languishing on shelf somewhere since it was completed in 2003, resurrected presumably to take advantage of star Gael García Bernal’s rising fame. Director-writer Matthew Parkhill’s first and only feature is short on substance and character development. Star Gael García Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries, Y Tu Mama Tambien) is the highlight, flirting with the camera in a way that recalls a young Robert Redford. There’s a passionate love triangle that’s almost believable, but in the end, the film is punctuated with a series of twists that feels stale and contrived.
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  • The Scene
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith

    One doesn’t look for impeccable logic or tightly woven plotlines in a film like this; still some attention to story craft would help. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a highly successful married couple trying to keep to their conjugal spark alive while hiding their work as assassins for rival firms. Clever verbal showdowns and an undeniable sexual chemistry generate the film’s greatest pyrotechnics. The action sequences, however, grind everything to a halt. This may be one of the few examples of a big budget action film where the stunts and effects are the least interesting part of the movie.
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  • The Scene
  • The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D

    Director Robert Rodriguez follows up the gritty Sin City with this bloodless — in every sense of the word — children’s picture, conceived by his 7-year-old-son. It’s a little like sitting through a 5-year-old’s description of his trip to Disney World: Incredibly cute for about 10 minutes, but breathlessly repetitive and muddled for the remaining 80. Beyond the flashy intro, it’s cheesy and repetitive for both kid and adult audiences.
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