Director: Michael Snow. With Kim Plate, Greg Hermanovic, John Massey, Joanne Tod. (93 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt *** Named after the part of the brain that passes signals between the two hemispheres, this avant-garde extravaganza uses digital techniques to morph, twist, and generally slice and dice every object and person it can find, destabilizing every known category of time, place, and gender along the way. Snow is a full-fledged genius who enlarged the fundamental horizons of cinema with his classic "Wavelength," but here his aesthetic and philosophical ideas don't quite keep pace with his technological boldness.
Director: Akira Kurosawa. With Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Yoshio Inaba, Seiji Miyaguchi. (207 min.)
Sterritt **** Kurosawa has always been the West's favorite Japanese filmmaker, and this 1954 epic is one of his most popular crowd-pleasers, spinning the action-filled tale of trouble-plagued villagers who hire a gaggle of unemployed warriors to defend them against lawless thugs in the area. The legendary Mifune leads a superb cast, and Kurosawa's kinetic camera keeps the adventure sizzling with energy and wit from start to finish.
Director: Clint Eastwood. With Eastwood, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Daniels. (115 min.)
Sterritt *** An aging cop tracks down the serial killer who murdered the donor of his newly transplanted heart. Eastwood plays the sleuth a sort of geriatric Dirty Harry with the same physically taut, emotionally walled-up personality that has typified most of his characters. He still gets the girl, too. In the director's chair, Eastwood takes a conservative approach, telling the tale efficiently but with few of the imaginative touches that have made some of his films so memorable.
Staff **1/2 Spotty acting, predictable, well-crafted.
Sex/Nudity: 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 13 scenes, including shootouts. Profanity: 24 strong expressions. Drugs: 5 scenes with drinking.
Director: John Stockwell. With Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Mika Boorem. (103 min.)
Sterritt ** They're chambermaids by night, surfin' girls by day, and one of them has the makings of wave-riding stardom. Moviegoing tip: Skip the first hour or so, but grab a seat in time for the surfing contest that climaxes the picture, complete with mile-high waves and the most graceful ocean-gliding this side of "The Endless Summer."
Staff **1/2 Stunning surf footage, exhilarating, insipid dialogue.
Sex/Nudity: 6 instances innuendo; 1 scene implied sex. Violence: 12 scenes, including near drownings and surfing injuries. Profanity: 22 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes with drinking and smoking.
Director: Miguel Arteta. With Jennifer Aniston, John C. Reilly, Tim Blake Nelson. (93 min.)
Sterritt **** What's a well-meaning young woman to do when she's stuck in a miserable marriage, a tedious town, and a boring job, and the only chance for escape is a love affair she can't resist? Aniston and Reilly give the best of many excellent performances. A few plotty scenes aside, this quietly directed drama paints a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of modern malaise, and has a smart sense of humor as a bonus.
Staff ***1/2 Well-acted, thoughtful, sad.
Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes with innuendo, several explicit, adulterous sex scenes. Violence: 6, including fighting. Profanity: 14 expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes with illegal drugs, alcohol, smoking.
Director: Mirra Bank. With Maurice Sendak, Pilobolus Dance Theatre. (84 min.)
Sterritt *** Documentary about the collaboration between children's-book author Sendak and the Pilobolus dance troupe to create "A Selection," an internationally successful dance dealing with Holocaust themes. The film is hardly a blistering look behind the scenes, but it gives a more balanced account of the creative process including dissension and disagreement than most arts-related movies of its ilk.
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, including full nudity. Violence: 2 instances. Profanity: 10 strong expressions. Drugs: 14 None.