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Sterritt ** Wahlberg crash-lands his spaceship on a world where supersmart simians have all the power and human beings are their slaves. Burton is an imaginative director with a distinctive artistic vision, but his originality is nowhere to be seen in this by-the-numbers retread of a science-fiction premise that seemed much fresher in 1968, when the original "Planet" was released. And what's the point of having gifted actors like Carter and Roth, when it's hard to savor their talents under all that monkey makeup?Skip to next paragraph
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Staff 1/2 One-dimensional, Burton succeeds again, never dull, terrific sets and makeup.
VS/N: 1 scene of innuendo. VV: 22 scenes, including gore. VP: 10 mild expressions. VD: 2 scenes with smoking, 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Garry Marshall. With Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, Hector Elizondo. (114 min.)
uu Andrews is excellent as the queen of an itsy-bitsy European principality who decides the nation's next ruler should be her granddaughter, a San Francisco teenager. With its leisurely pace and unfancy filmmaking, this is a likable throwback to an old tradition of family-friendly comedies from Disney, spinning its unpretentious yarn with a quiet but inventive sense of humor. The problem is that it goes on much too long.
uuu Benign, whimsical, endearing, fluffy, bland.
VS/N: None. VV: None. VP: None. VD: 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Bret Rattner. With Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Zhang Ziyi, Chris Penn, Don Cheadle. (88 min.)
Staff **1/2 Just put Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker together for 90 minutes, and you've got a hit movie. Here, the detectives chase Triad counterfeiters from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. Never mind that the sequel's stunts and fight-scene choreography aren't as impressive as that of the first movie - the amped-up comedy more than compensates to carry the day. By Matthew MacLean
Staff *** Flashy, nonsensical, simplistic, cocky.
VS/N: 4 scenes of innuendo. 3 scenes male posterior nudity. VV: 11 scenes, including martial arts. VP: 40 expressions, many harsh. VD: 3 scenes with alcohol, 3 scenes with smoking.
Director: Frank Oz. With Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando. (124 min.)
Staff ** "The Score" boasts De Niro, Norton, and Brando - three great actors from three different generations. But this heist movie, about a thief (De Niro) on his last job, is also third-rate material. Like the other actors, De Niro's hardly stretching himself here.
By Stephen Humphries
Staff *** Intelligent, no emotional drive, thrilling.
VS/N: None. VV: 5 scenes, including a fight. VP: 79 harsh expressions. VD: 2 scenes with smoking; 6 scenes with drinking.
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud. With Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes. (133 min.)
Sterritt * Rivalry flares between a Soviet sniper and his Nazi counterpart as they turn their sights on each other during World War II's Battle of Stalingrad. Annaud seems more interested in epic visual sweep than deep-rooted human emotion, though. Add a perfunctory love affair, and you have a movie that's its own worst enemy.
Staff ** Shallow, authentic, suspenseful.
Director: John Herzfeld. With Robert De Niro, Edward Burns, Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks. (120 min.)
Sterritt ** A homicide cop and an arson investigator get into a New York tussle with two thugs from Eastern Europe. Herzfeld cares more about sensationalism than substance, and portions of the picture are far nastier than they had to be.
Staff ** Uneven tone, well edited, silly.
Directors: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont. With Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid. (98 min.)
Sterritt *** Our heroines are wannabe rock stars who stumble on a scheme for selling pop-culture products through subliminal messages. The action is perky, but it's ironic that this satire of commercialism sets a record for product-placement plugs.
Director: Daniel Minahan. With Brooke Smith, Mark Woodbury, Michael Kaycheck. (85 min.)
Sterritt *** This ferocious satire of "reality television" presents a (bogus) show that arms ordinary people with weapons. Too cynical to believe? Project your imagination into the future, and ponder the possibilities.