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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 4 of 49)

Director: Atom Egoyan. With David Alpay, Arsinée Khanjian, Christopher Plummer, Elias Koteas. (116 min.)

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Sterritt ** A young man explains to a troubled customs official why a film he's making - about the horrific treatment of Armenians by Turks in the World War I era - has strong reverberations in his own Armenian-Canadian family; this sparks a series of flashbacks, film-within-a-film scenes, and episodes from the present day. Egoyan, an Armenian-Canadian, is one of Canada's most ambitious filmmakers, but the power of this intricate drama falls short, despite his personal investment in the subject.

Staff ***1/2 Riveting, layered, brilliantly directed.

Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes of nudity and sex. Violence: 14 scenes, some quite graphic, including rape. Profanity: 5 expressions. Drugs: 4 scenes of drinking.

Austin Powers in Goldmember (PG-13)

Director: Jay Roach. With Mike Myers, Michael Caine, Beyoncé Knowles. (98 min.)

Sterritt * Our hero battles Dr. Evil and a villain he's recruited from 1975 to help him destroy the world. The third Powers movie wants to be a flashy, funny satire on the swinging '70s. What's really on filmmakers' minds is how much box-office power they can tap into by blitzing viewers with even larger doses of repetitive sex jokes and insipid scatological gags than before.

Staff ** Sophomoric, funny, repetitive

Sex/Nudity: 19 instances of innuendo. Violence: 11 scenes, including fighting. Profanity: 32 mostly mild expressions. Drugs: 2 instances drinking.

Auto Focus (R)

Director: Paul Schrader. With Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Rita Wilson. (107 min.)

Sterritt *** This film documents the rise and fall of Bob Crane ("Hogan's Heroes"), who ruined his life and career when he befriended a technology wonk and participated in living-room orgies recorded by his sleazy companion with video equipment. Kinnear gives a pitch-perfect performance as the self-destructive actor, and Schrader offers one of his most harrowing explorations of the dangers of sensuality.

Bad Company (PG-13)

Director: Joel Schumacher. With Chris Rock, Anthony Hopkins, Brooke Smith. (120 min.)

Sterritt ** A streetwise hustler is drafted by the CIA to replace his killed-in-action twin on a mission to seize a contraband nuclear device. Rock and Hopkins give performances so different you'd think they were spliced together from two movies. This is fun to watch for a while, but the picture runs much too long, and most of the comedy writing is lame.

Sex/Nudity: 2 mild scenes. Violence: 10 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 26 harsh expressions. Drugs: 8 scenes of smoking and drinking.

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (R)

Director: Wych Kaosayananda. With Antonio Banderas, Lucy Liu, Gregg Henry. (91 min.)

Staff * Sever, a beautiful, deadly ex-agent from a shadowy government agency, has kidnapped the son of another shadowy government agent. It's up to Ecks, a retired FBI agent, to stop her and get the child back, while the two of them blow up everything in their way. The subplots are so complicated, it's difficult to keep up, let alone care. The fight choreography is good, but not good enough to make this mess worthwhile. By Alex Kaloostian

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 20 scenes, including shootings. Profanity: 2 expressions. Drugs: 5 scenes of smoking, drinking.

The Banger Sisters (R)

Director: Bob Dolman. With Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn, Geoffrey Rush. (97 min.)

Staff **1/2Former rock groupie Suzette (Hawn) wants to reconnect with her friend "Vinny" (Sarandon) in Phoenix. The problem is, it's 20 years later, and Vinny isn't a wild woman anymore. Known to family and friends as Lavinia Kingsley, she lives in a big house with her lawyer-husband, two daughters, and a golden retriever. This hilarious romp looks like a shallow film, but it addresses family tensions, peer pressure, and the need to just let loose later in life. By Lisa Leigh Connors