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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 24 of 49)

Sterritt *** You won't hear the familiar strains of Bizet's opera, but you'll recognize the classic story of a proud seductress, able to mesmerize anyone she fancies with her sensual beauty. The soundtrack pulses with the music of Senegal, where this energetic movie was filmed. In French and Wolof with English subtitles.

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The Kid Stays in the Picture (R)

Directors: Brett Morgen, Nanette Burstein. With Robert Evans, various Hollywood figures. (92 min.)

Sterritt ** Documentary about the active life and checkered career of small-time Hollywood actor and big-time producer Robert Evans, based on his autobiography and narrated by the celebrity himself. Admirers will enjoy the inside dope on movies like "The Godfather" and "Rosemary's Baby," while detractors will zero in on his unsavory spell as a drug abuser. The overall effect is too self-worshiping to be of lasting interest. The guy sure isn't shy!

Staff *** Stylish, lucid, over-produced

Sex/Nudity: 5 instances innuendo. Violence: 5 clips of murders from other films. Profanity: 27 harsh expressions. Drugs: 27 scenes with smoking, drinking, or cocaine use.

Kissing Jessica Stein (R)

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. With Heather Juergensen, Jennifer Westfeldt, Tovah Feldshuh. (96 min)

Sterritt *** Itching for affection but disillusioned with the men she meets, a young woman decides to explore what being gay is like, choosing a partner who's not entirely sure what she wants in life, either. While this slightly edgy comedy has moments of offbeat charm, it would carry more conviction if the acting were richer and the characters focused on more sophisticated attitudes and ambitions.

Staff ** Sympathetic, boring, predictable.

Sex/Nudity: 17 instances innuendo, implied sex. Violence: None. Profanity: About 21 strong expressions. Drugs: 19 scenes of smoking, drinking.

Knockaround Guys (R)

Directors: David Levien, Brian Koppelman. With John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel. (92 min.)

Sterritt * A group of young Brooklyn thugs invade a small Montana town to retrieve a satchel of illicit cash they've lost there, coming to blows with various locals including a sheriff who's as corrupt as they are. The story is a string of sub-Scorsese clichés, and if engaging actors like Malkovich and Hopper seem to be sleepwalking through their roles, imagine how unwatchable Diesel manages to be.

The Komediant (Not rated)

Director: Arnon Goldfinger. With Mike Burstyn, Lillian Lux, Susan Burstein-Roth, Fyvush Finkel. (85 min.)

Sterritt *** An amiable documentary journey through the unique culture of Yiddish theater, as experienced by old-time stage star Pesach'ke Burstein and members of his family. The movie is more a family album than a historical study, but you'll learn a lot and your toe will tap, tap, tap. In English, Yiddish, and Hebrew with English subtitles.

The Lady and the Duke (PG-13)

Director: Eric Rohmer. With Lucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, François Marthouret. (129 min.)

Sterritt **** A courtly account of the skittish friendship between an Englishwoman living in France during the French Revolution and a curmudgeonly French aristocrat who confronts his tumultuous age with an unsteady set of divided loyalties. Rohmer shot the movie with digital video, lending a sense of exquisitely crafted artifice that enhances the tale's historical atmosphere. It's deliciously acted, too. In French with English subtitles.

Lagaan (PG)

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker. With Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley. (225 min.)

Staff ***1/2 In 1893 India, villagers protest the doubling of their annual grain tax (lagaan). The British captain strikes a wager: Beat the officers' cricket team, and no lagaan for three years, or lose and pay triple. All seems hopeless until the captain's independent-minded sister offers to teach them the game. This simple plot is the premise for a sumptuous feast of sight and sound, with comedy, a love story, and deftly integrated song and dance. It's the most expensive Indian film ever, and it looks it. Hooray for Bollywood! By M.K. Terrell