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Sterritt ** It's summer vacation, the "American Pie" alumni are now college kids, and all they can think of is still - you guessed it - sex, sex, sex. This energetic sequel moves from one gross-out set piece to another, with occasional moments of teen-pic sentimentality to cleanse the palate. It delivers all the ribaldry its designated audience could hope for, but some may find it more deliberately disgusting than effervescently outrageous.Skip to next paragraph
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VS/N: 19 scenes of graphic innuendo or implied sex, 1 sex scene with nudity. VV: 2 scenes of comic violence. VP: 124 very harsh expressions. VD: 20 scenes with alcohol, 1 with smoking.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola. With Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper. (196 min.)
Sterritt **** Coppola has restored 53 minutes of material trimmed from the original 1979 release of "Apocalypse Now," his legendary drama about the Vietnam War. The story, based on Joseph Conrad's haunting 1898 novella "Heart of Darkness," hasn't changed: A soldier (Sheen) travels up a jungle river to assassinate a military officer (Brando) who's gone insane and established a private kingdom ruled by terror. The film is episodic and uneven, but it has moments of great emotional power.
Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel. With Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat. (99 min.)
Sterritt ** Trying to protect her teenage son from the sinister influence of an ill-chosen older friend, a woman finds herself covering up a death and negotiating with a tenacious blackmailer. Swinton has some affecting moments as the mom, but the rest of the acting is second-rate, and the directors (previously known for "Suture," which also promised more than it delivered) give it little originality or oomph. The same story was told vastly better in the 1949 melodrama "The Reckless Moment," directed starring James Mason in one of his most indelible roles.
Director: Terry Zwigoff. With Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro. (111 min.)
Sterritt *** Reluctant to enter the ordinary adult world, which they find shallow and tedious, two girls just out of high school strike up a smirky relationship with an older man who has antisocial tendencies. While this isn't a showy or flashy movie, it has social, psychological, and ultimately mystical overtones that raise it leagues above most other teen-centered comedies.
Staff **1/2 Realistic coming-of-age tale, engagingly cast, intelligent humor.
VS/N: 1 scene of implied sex, 4 scenes of innuendo. VV: 2 scenes. VP: 89 harsh expressions. VD: 6 scenes with drinking.
Director: Joe Johnston. With Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola. (90 min.)
Sterritt ** After their 14-year-old son disappears into an island jungle inhabited by Jurassic Park's prehistoric critters, a couple shanghais mild-mannered paleontologist Alan Grant into helping their rescue effort. The cast is solid and the special effects are impressive, but the screenplay is so stale that fans of the previous "Jurassic" installments might think this is one clone too many.
Staff *1/2 Poorly paced, summer fun, empty theme park ride, blessedly short.
VS/N: None. VV: 11 scenes of dinosaur attacks. VP: 5 mild instances. VD: 1 scene with drinking.
Director: Robert Luketic. With Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair. (94 min.)
Sterritt ** When her boyfriend proposes breaking up instead of getting married, a ditsy sorority girl follows him to Harvard Law School and continues her courtship on his own turf. Witherspoon fills the screen with bright-eyed bounce but the rest of the cast is as forgettable as the flimsy story.
Staff **1/2 Perky, light-hearted, delightful.
VS/N: None. VV: None. VP: 15 mild expressions. VD: 4 scenes with alcohol.
Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly. With Bill Murray, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliott, voices of Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne David Hyde Pierce. (90 min.)
Sterritt ** Our hero has poor health habits - heavy on the snacks, light on the exercise - and we see the physiological fallout of his irresponsibility in animated sequences set in different parts of his distressed innards, where a talkative white blood cell and an officious patent-medicine pill work to cure him. This mixture of cartooning and live action has antecedents as different as "The Fantastic Journey," and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." But the Farrelly brothers inevitably steer toward gross-out farce, and little they cook up here amounts to more than smart-alecky parody.