Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Crossroads

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

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.

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Metropolis

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

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.

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Hart's War

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

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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Italian for Beginners

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

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.

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John Q

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

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.

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Tha Almighty Dreadnaughtz

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Transcending the glitzy hype and big-pimpin’ bullshit of radio hip hop is nothing more than a course of habit for the Almighty Dreadnautz. Every verse bears witness to hard facts of Detroit life through mile-a-minute rhymes that are as skillfully delivered as they are brutally honest....

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Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Forget me not

Kate Winslet and Judi Dench as tragic British author Iris Murdock.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The story of British novelist Iris Murdock's descent into Alzheimer's Disease manages for the most part to avoid the warm, fuzzy approach, though it's not above the lure of nostalgia and the simplifying of an arduous struggle. It's also a love story with a pervading tone of civilized sadness — starring Judi Dench and Kate Winslet.

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Aberdeen

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

A weighty nostalgia drags through this moving picture, eroding time and color. Aberdeen takes a dysfunctional family’s melodrama on the road to the unplanned destination of redemptive bonding — with Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård and Lena Headey.

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Cool & Crazy

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

A better title for this film might be The Singing Strand Boys: Norway’s Berlevåg Male Choir. Director Knut Erik Jensen’s documentary presents us with the stern beauties of nature and the passionate and motley characters of the choir.

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Big Fat Liar

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

"Nobody believes a liar ... even when he is telling the truth!" This moral from an old Aesop's fable is the foundation for a modern-day retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. But the film’s moral is: Don't pair up two extraordinary, up-and-coming child actors with one low-caliber, two-bit adult goofball.

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