The Monitor Movie Guide
Reviews in this weekly guide are written by Monitor critic David Sterritt (the first set of '+' marks in each review) unless otherwise noted. Ratings and comments by the Monitor staff panel (the second set of '+' marks in each review) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three other viewers. Information on violence, drugs, sex/nudity, and profanity is compiled by the panel.Skip to next paragraph
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+++1/2 Very Good
++ 1/2 Average
FESTIVAL! (NOT RATED)
Director: Murray Lerner. With Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Donovan, Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte Marie, Johnny Cash, Peter, Paul, and Mary. (95 min.)
+++ Revival of a lively, entertaining 1967 documentary about the legendary Newport Folk Festival, filmed from 1963 to 1966 in a no-frills style that perfectly suits the tone of the urban American folk movement during some of its most glorious and productive days.
GADJO DILO (NOT RATED)
Director: Tony Gatlif. With Romain Duris, Rona Hartner, Isidor Serban. (97 min.)
+++ A young Frenchman travels into the Gypsy community of rural Romania, searching for a singer whose voice has captivated him on a recording. The story is slender and Duris's polished acting doesn't always mesh with the nonprofessional cast surrounding him. But the movie draws explosive energy from its celebration of music, dancing, and Gypsy folkways, taking on a vitality and freshness that are downright breathtaking in scene after scene. Contains foul language and brief but very explicit sex.
HALLOWEEN: H20 (R)
Director: Steve Miner. With Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Adam Arkin, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett. (86 min.)
++ "Scream" writer Kevin Williamson and director Miner have teamed up to bring you "Halloween: H20" (the subtitle indicates 20 years later and not a chemical formula). Former babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now a headmistress of an isolated boarding school in California who's trying to put serial killer Michael Myers out of her mind. She's divorced, battling a drinking problem, and trying to reconnect with her teenaged son. Meanwhile, the masked maniac is on her trail. It's campy fun, but if you've seen the previous sequels, the plot grows tiresome and lacks shock value. By Lisa Leigh Parney
++ Fun thrill ride, gory, occasionally funny.
Sex/Nudity: None, though some sexual innuendo. Violence: Final segment filled with terror, gore, and violence, including shooting, throat slashing, several knifings with extremely large knife, car crash, and beheading. Profanity: 22 expletives. Drugs: Occasional drinking to relieve stress; cigarettes.
SNAKE EYES (R)
Director: Brian De Palma. With Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard, Carla Gugino, Stan Shaw. (99 min.)
+++ Cage gives a wildly extroverted performance as an Atlantic City cop who stumbles onto an assassination scheme that forces him to reassess his loyalties even as he chases the villains. The movie is weaker as a suspense yarn than as an exercise in style, filling the screen with intricate camera choreography. But it also ponders the serious theme of modern materialism, represented by everything from excesses of the gambling and prizefighting industries to machinations of the military-industrial complex.
+1/2 Disappointing, hyperactive, uneven.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes of attempted seduction. Violence: 8 scenes, plus boxing violence. Profanity: 64 swears and oaths. Drugs: 3 scenes with alcohol, 8 with cigarettes.
Currently in Release
EAST PALACE, WEST PALACE (NOT RATED)
Director: Zhang Yuan. With Si Han, Hu Jun. (90 min.)
+++ A police officer confronts unexamined aspects of contemporary China and his own sensibility while interrogating a gay man he's arrested in a public park. This capably filmed drama combines earnest performances with an informed interest in psychological and sociological issues.
EVER AFTER (PG-13)
Director: Andy Tennant. With Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Jeanne Moreau. (124 min.)
+++ Prettily filmed retelling of the Cinderella story, complete with mistreated heroine, wicked stepmother, and handsome prince. There's no earthly reason for stretching this often-told tale to more than two hours, but Huston is amusingly tart as the stepmom, and it's hard to resist a movie that substitutes Leonardo da Vinci for the traditional fairy godmother.
+++ Charming, romantic, spunky.
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 5 scenes, mostly mild, sometimes cartoonish. Profanity: 2 mild expressions. Drugs: 2 scenes with alcohol.