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Director: Garry Marshall. With Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo. (114 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** 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.
Staff *** Benign, whimsical, endearing, bland.
VS/N: None. VV: None. VP: None. VD: 2 scenes with drinking.
Director: Jerry Zucker. With John Cleese, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Goldberg, Seth Green. (112 min.)
Staff *1/2 When a millionaire (Cleese) sets up a cross-country race between a group of contestants, they have little idea of the mishaps that will ensue as they strive to beat the others to a $2 million prize. "Naked Gun" director Zucker adds plenty of energy to the madcap episodes the all-star cast find themselves in, but the laughs are scattershot. By Stephen Humphries
Staff *1/2 Flashy, nonsensical, simplistic, cocky.
S/N: 5 instances of innuendo. VV: 12 comic scenes, one fairly unpleasant. VP: 33 occasionally harsh expressions. VD: 5 scenes with alcohol, 1 with cigarettes.
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: Michael Tolin. With Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel, Bruce Davidson, Brian Dennehy. (108 min.)
Staff ** Blue-collar hometown boy and pro lawn mower Ryan Dunne (Freddie Prinze Jr.) has big-league aspirations playing on a Cape League baseball team. Saddled with troubles in his family and a huge lack of belief in himself, Ryan strives to make his dreams come true. This story has its share of bad acting. But "Summer Catch" turns out to be a well-meaning, light, and fluffy comedy with plenty of good giggles. By Deborah Henderson
Director: Christopher Nolan, With Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano. (118 min.)
Sterritt *** A young man hunts the criminal who murdered his wife, hampered by a condition that obliterates his short-term memory. How do you conduct a life-or-death quest under such circumstances? You write yourself endless notes and tattoo crucial information on your skin. This unconventionally structured thriller moves at an energetic pace, spurred by clever variations on film narrative.
Staff *** Kodak moments, fresh, intricate,
Director: Ted Demme. With Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens. (119 min.)
Sterritt ** The fact-based story of a crook who became a big-time associate of Pablo Escobar's notorious Colombia drug cartel, is inherently stale, especially since Martin Scorsese did it better in the 1990 hit "GoodFellas." But Depp evokes emotional depth with a subtle performance.
Staff *** Realistic, compelling, a bore.
Director: John Boorman. With Geoffrey Rush, Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Lee Curtis. (110 min.)
Sterritt ** Brosnan plays a spy who's sent to Panama, and Rush plays a con artist who uses his profession - tailor to the rich and famous - as a front for more slippery activities. The movie strains too hard to seem smart and savvy, though, with touches of offbeat filmmaking that prove to be a momentary sideshow.
Staff ** Implausible, too heavy, Rush is great.