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The Monitor Movie Guide

(Page 3 of 3)

SIX-STRING SAMURAI (PG-13) Director: Lance Mungia. With Jeffrey Falcon, Justin McGuire, Stephane Gauger, John Sakisian. (81 min.) + Surreal action comedy about a wandering warrior who rescues an endangered orphan and faces off against Death himself as part of a quest to become the post-apocalyptic king of rock n roll. Fantasy fans may enjoy some of the gimmicks, but The Road Warrior did much of this better and sooner.

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STILL CRAZY (R) Director: Brian Gibson. With Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Timothy Spall, Juliet Aubrey, Jimmy Nail, Bill Nighy, Rachel Stirling, Bruce Robinson, Helena Bergstrom. (96 min.) +++ Hoping to recapture the glory of years gone by, a washed-up rock musician decides to reunite the band that made him fleetingly famous in the not-so- swinging 70s. Although the plot and dialogue are less original than one might hope, a sensational cast and a lively spirit make this one of the best rock comedies since This Is Spinal Tap launched the genre. ++1/2 Amusing, predictable, off-paced. Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes. Violence: 5 instances. Profanity: 112 expressions. Drugs: 5 references to drug use, drinking and smoking throughout.

THE THIN RED LINE (R) Director: Terrence Malick. With Sean Penn, John Travolta, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson, Gary Oldman, John C. Reilly, John Savage, John Cusack, George Clooney. (166 min.) +++ American soldiers battle elusive enemies in this sweeping adaptation of James Joness thoughtful World War II novel about the Guadalcanal campaign. Although the story seems disjointed at times, no other war movie has tried so valiantly to convey not only the suffering of combat but the awful fissures it leaves between humanitys ideal oneness with itself and the world we live in. Flawed but fascinating. +++ Intense, violent, poetic. Sex/Nudity: 1 bedroom scene with no nudity; 3 scenes of partially nude natives or soldiers bathing. Violence: Gunfire, beatings, dismemberment; combat violence throughout. Profanity: 59 expressions. Drugs: 3 scenes of alcohol; 26 with smoking.

VARSITY BLUES (R) Director: Brian Robbins. With James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Scott Caan, Ron Lester. (106 min.) + High school football players hustle for good times on the athletic field and in the local saloon, dogged by parental pressures and the fanaticism of their win-at-any-cost coach. The story is mildly entertaining in its hackneyed way, but theres no excusing the pictures exploitative treatment of almost all the female characters. ++ Predictable, crass, teen flick. Sex/Nudity: 9 scenes of nudity or sex, including mooning, strip bar featuring female biology teacher, and students riding naked in a police car. Violence: 2 mild instances. Profanity: 112 expressions, often harsh. Drugs: 11 scenes involving alcohol and drunkenness; 2 scenes with cigarettes.

VIRUS (R) Director: John Bruno. With Jamie Lee Curtis, WIlliam Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula. (110 min.) DUD Combine the plots of Alien, Terminator, and Star Trek, and you end up with Virus. Jamie Lee Curtis and five dimwitted crewmen find themselves trapped aboard a Russian ghost ship, battling an evil, electrical space monster that has traveled to earth to create cyborgs to destroy mankind. Virus should have been quarantined and sent straight to video. By John Christian Hoyle Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 28 graphic scenes of robot alien attacks and explosions. Profanity: 74 expressions. Drugs: 2 instances of alcohol use.

OUT ON VIDEO RUSH HOUR (R) Director: Brett Ratner. With Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Julie Hsu. (108 min.) +++ Action-packed comedy about the kidnapping of a Chinese girl from her politically influential father. The fast-talking Tucker and quick-kicking Chan are a surprisingly good team. By Ari Denison ++1/2 Witty, clunky, action-packed.

Coming Soon ... (In stores Feb. 2)

MULAN (G) Directors: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook. With voices of Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Harvey Fierstein, B.D. Wong, Pat Morita, Donny Osmond. (85 min.) +++ Helped by her guardian dragon, a Chinese girl dresses as a man and joins the army to fight off a Hun invasion. This high-quality Disney animation combines strong pictorial appeal with amiable voice performances. Fun for all. +++1/2 Funny, appealing to all ages, exciting.

THERES SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (R) Directors: Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly. With Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Chris Elliott. (120 min.) ++ Still hopelessly in love with a high school heartthrob he hardly knew, a New England yuppie tracks her down to Miami. This comedy is as down-and-dirty as youd expect from the Farrelly team. ++ Gross-out comedy, crass, irreverent.