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  • Issue of
  • Jan 25-31, 2006
  • Vol. 26, No. 15

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Underworld: Evolution

    If you liked the first Underworld film, chances are you’ll find this unnecessary sequel only mildly disappointing. For the rest of us, there’s very little evolution to be found, just more of the same … but not even as good.
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  • The Scene
  • Match Point

    In this Woody Allen film set in London, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers plays Chris Wilton, a social climber whose lukewarm success as a pro tennis player prompts him to abandon the tour to give lessons at a posh English club. There he meets Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) who takes an immediate liking to Chris and introduces him to his smart but all-too-chipper sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer). Chris and Chloe become an item, and she gets him a post in her dad’s business. It seems like Tom’s on his way to getting the lifestyle he craves. Nola (Scarlett Johansson) is Tom’s American fiancé, whose failing acting career is the bane of the hoity Hewett parents. We watch as Johansson and Rhys-Meyers' simmering lust explodes and then slowly implodes into near disaster. Chris’ wife is desperate to get pregnant, his pregnant mistress is desperate to be his next wife — and the fallout leads him to murder.
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  • The Scene
  • Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

    Albert Brooks drops the pretense of character and simply plays himself. Hired by the American government, Brooks travels to Pakistan and India to find out what makes Muslim people laugh, and to better understand Islamic culture. It’s a great premise for a comedy, and an abortive audition with Penny Marshall, Brook’s initial contact with the State Department, as well as his attempts to find a suitable assistant in India are all quite funny. But then, mysteriously, any semblance of a well-crafted comedy disappears.
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  • The Scene
  • The New World

    To the uninitiated, Malick’s style and pace can be like watching paint dry, and this film will do nothing to change that impression. The filmmaker tackles the legend of Pocahontas, with Captain John Smith played by Colin Farrell and Pocahontas played by newcomer Q’Orianka Kilcher. But the film isn’t a romance, it’s an exploration of the way one culture can seduce and ultimately destroy another.
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