Director: Yongyoot Thongongtoon. With Sahapap Virakamin, Pormasith Siticharoengkul, Jojo Mioxshi, Jessadaporn Pholdee. (104 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** A team of gay volleyball players gets a chance at fame when a more macho team stages a walkout because they don't like their female coach, and flamboyant history is made on Thailand's athletic scene. The subject is certainly offbeat, and the movie has enough color and spirit to make lively viewing, aside from the interest of seeing one of the most popular movies ever produced by Thailand's modest film industry.
Director: Olivier Assayas. With Emmanuelle Béart, Charles Berling, Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Perrier, Dominique Reymond. (180 min.)
Sterritt ** After his marriage in the early 1900s, a French clergyman gives up his religious calling and devotes himself to running his family's porcelain business. Covering a 30-year time period and etching a large number of characters, this historical drama is literate and ambitious. But its novelistic sweep doesn't suit Assayas's idiosyncratic talent, and much of it is duller and talkier than one expects from the director of adventurous pictures like "Irma Vep," still his best movie. Originally titled "Les Destineés Sentimentales." In French with English subtitles
Director: J.B. Rogers. With Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan. (104 min.)
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.
VS/N: 19 scenes of graphic innuendo or implied sex, 1 sex scene with nudity. VV: 2 scenes of comic violence. VP: 124 harsh expressions. VD: 20 scenes with alcohol, 1 with smoking.
Director: Hassan Yektapanah. With Rashid Akbari, Valiollah Beta, Mahbobeh Khalili. (94 min.)
Sterritt **** The title character, an Afghani immigrant who works at a small Iranian dairy farm, falls in love with an Iranian woman and needs help winning her affection - no easy matter, given the strictness of Iranian courtship customs and the fact that he doesn't fit the local profile for a desirable catch. The performances of this quiet Iranian drama are utterly genuine, and the story is a blend of slice-of-life realism and soft-spoken social commentary. In Farsi with English subtitles
Director: Daniel Sackheim. With Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgard, Trevor Morgan. (111 min.)
Staff * When Ruby and Rhett Baker's parents die in a mysterious car accident, they are taken under the legal guardianship of Erin and Terry Glass, who happen to live in a home constructed of glass. It isn't long before Ruby - played by the ever-sullen Leelee Sobieski - begins to realize that there's something creepy about their adoptive parents. This is one of those thrillers where lightning flashes ominously in a dark house; where the girl drops the car keys just as the killer is approaching the vehicle; where there's a false ending because the killer has to be killed twice. 'The Glass House' is too transparent to be effective. By Stephen Humphries
Director: Brian Robbins. With Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane, John Hawk, D.B. Sweeney. (90 min.)
Staff **1/2 His life threatened by bookies, Connor O'Neill (Reeves) agrees in desperation to coach Little League. In a world where "don't nobody's father come back," O'Neill earns the boys' trust by showing up. Initially, O'Neill's only reason for coaching is to collect his weekly check. But the harsh realities of life in the projects won't let him, or the viewer, remain callous for long. Meanwhile, the young cast of "Hardball" pitches laughs and tears, making sure both you and O'Neill think twice about how to live. By Nathan Smith
Director: Kevin Smith. With Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Shannon Elizabeth, Ben Affleck, Chris Rock. (99 min.)