All Over the Guy (R)Skip to next paragraph
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Director: Julie Davis. With Dan Bucatinsky, Sasha Alexander, Richard Ruccolo, Adam Goldberg, Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow. (92 min.)
Sterritt * The romantic adventures of four young people, two gay and two straight, one of whom is hampered by a difficult family background he's never been able to overcome. The movie means well, but neither its emotions nor its performances ring very true.
Director: Les Mayfield. With Colin Farrell, Scott Caan, Ali Larter, Timothy Dalton, Kathy Bates. (90 min.)
Staff DUD This depiction of the rise of notorious outlaw Jesse James wasn't meant to be overly serious, but Colin Farrell and his dastardly gang have all the screen presence of a bunch of frat boys playing cowboys and learning how to ride horses. Comparing the film to "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," as Warner Brothers has done, is like comparing "Rambo" to "Apocalypse Now." Except that "Rambo" actually made a splash. This dud will be forgotten by fall. By Matthew MacLean
Director: Jean-Luc Godard. With Anna Karina, Sami Frey, Claude Brasseur. (97 min.)
Sterritt **** "All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun," quipped French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, but in this mercurial crime-tragicomedy-romance he shows that exhilarating doses of style, imagination, and sheer energy also come in handy. Made in 1964, this isn't a legendary Godard masterpiece like "Breathless" and "Contempt," which have also been successfully reissued. It offers 10 times more pleasures than the average picture, though. Originally titled "Bande à parte." In French with English subtitles
Director: John Madden. With Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Christian Bale, Irene Papas, John Hurt. (125 min.)
Sterritt ** Cage plays a music-loving Italian officer who's garrisoned on a lovely Greek island during World War II, where he falls for a young woman (Cruz) who resists him at first, but eventually succumbs to his mischievous yet manly charm, dismaying the simple fisherman she's engaged to marry. While this romantic fantasy has a fair amount of shooting and killing, its heart is in the ill-starred love affair that dominates most of the plot. This would be fine, if the romance were well enough written, directed, and acted to capture our hearts as well. But the only aspect that emerges a winner is the gorgeous Mediterranean scenery.
Director: Paul Cox. With Julia Blake, Charles Tingwell. (95 min.)
Sterritt *** A woman rekindles a love affair with a man she knew in her youth, sparking complicated feelings - and no small degree of surprise - in herself and the husband she's been contentedly living with for almost 50 years. This unusual romantic drama is sensitively acted by a well-chosen cast and subtly directed by Cox, an inventive Australian filmmaker who's often willing to leave the beaten path in search of compelling subjects.
Director: Joe Roth. With Julia Roberts, John Cusack, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Crystal. (109 min.)
Sterritt * To build enthusiasm for an expensive production, a Hollywood publicist (Crystal) asks a feuding movie-star couple (Cusack and Zeta-Jones) to fake a reconciliation, helped by an assistant (Roberts) who has her own personal stakes in the situation. This story is complicated enough to look interesting on paper, but it falls flat on screen, weighed down by far-fetched plot twists and needlessly crude comedy.
Staff ** Formulaic, funny (at times), half-baked.
VS/N: 6 scenes of innuendo, 1 scene of implied sex. VV: 3 scenes, including 1 fight. VP: 31 harsh expressions. VD: 1 scene with smoking, 9 scenes with drinking, 2 scenes with pill-taking.
Director: J.B. Rogers. With Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Mena Suvari, Natasha Lyonne, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott. (104 min.)