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Movie Guide

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Sterritt ** A young man meets the woman of his dreams, but she wants a sign that destiny means them to be together, and destiny doesn't quite come through. This exceedingly romantic comedy begins with flair, but lapses into clich├ęs before the sentimental finale.

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Staff *** Great chemistry, stylish, no depth.

VS/N: 1 scene of implied sex, 2 instances of innuendo. VV: 1 mild instance. VP: 21 expressions. VD: 6 scenes of alcohol, 2 scenes with cigarettes.

Training Day (R)

Director: Antoine Fuqua. With Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Macy Gray. (120 min.)

Staff *** Nothing can prepare ordinary cop Jake Hoyt for what he endures on his "training day" as he shadows a veteran narcotics cop in Los Angeles. Aided by superb performers, director Fuqua has fashioned a gripping thriller in which both moral and immoral actions have consequences. By Stephen Humphries

Staff *** Sweaty, disturbing, a moral struggle.

VS/N: 3 scenes of implied sex, 1 scene with nudity. VV: 12 often gory scenes. VP: 268 harsh expressions. VD: 4 scenes of alcohol, 9 scenes with cigarettes, 2 scenes with drugs.

Waking Life (R)

Director: Richard Linklater. With Wiley Wiggins, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Steven Soderbergh. (99 min.)

Sterritt *** This offbeat animation centers on a young man who's having the most vivid dream you can imagine - and possibly a permanent one, since every time he wakes up, this turns out to be part of the dream. Will he ever find his way back to waking life? The screenplay is crammed with conversations, often invoking philosophy and theology. Linklater is better at playing with concepts than synthesizing them.

Zoolander (PG-13)

Director: Ben Stiller. With Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Jerry Stiller. (95 min.)

Staff ** The loose plot - it's more of a concept, actually - has Ben Stiller starring as the world's most famous supermodel, who becomes unwittingly embroiled in a plot to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, it's a mixture of hit and miss. By Stephen Humphries

Staff **1/2 Zany, juvenile, uneven.

VS/N: 2 scenes of implied sex, 1 scene with innuendo. VV: 13 scenes of cartoonish violence. VP: 19 expressions, sometimes harsh. VD: 6 scenes with drinking, 1 scene with smoking, 2 scenes with drugs.

After running in theaters, foreign and independent films may be available on home video. Good sources include Facets Multimedia at www.facets.org; Kino International at www.kino.com; and www.Reel.com.

Out on video
The Animal (PG-13)

Director: Luke Greenfield. With Rob Schneider, Colleen Haskell, Edward Asner, Cloris Leachman. (77 min.)

Staff * After a car crash, a mad doctor patches up a bumbling young man with spare parts from animals, and the patient starts reacting to situations with beastly behavior. This comic fantasy has amusing bits of social satire, but they're crowded out of the stable by lots of bathroom humor.

Staff * Lazy humor, featherweight, base.

Swordfish (R)

Director: Dominic Sena. With John Travolta. Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle. (97 min.)

Staff * "Swordfish" is an action-thriller of the car-chase/gunplay/misogynistic variety. Travolta plays the head of an organization of ruthless terrorists set up by the US government to fight international terrorists. (Huh?) Only a computer hacker (Jackman) can stop them from robbing a bank to fund their "international peacekeeping." (Huh?) And it all ends with a bus dangling precariously from a helicopter. (Don't ask!) By Stephen Humphries

ComIng soon... (In stores Nov. 6)
Baby Boy (R)

Director: John Singleton. With Tyrese Gibson, Ving Rhames, Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg. (132 min.)

Serritt *** This melodrama centers on a young African-American named Jody who lives with his 36-year-old mother and her new boyfriend. The movie begins on an intellectual note, stating a psychologist's theory that years of racism have made many black men see themselves as overgrown children. Singleton still has a keen eye for harrowing details of urban life.

Staff **1/2 Insightful, compassionate, grave.

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