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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 42 of 49)

Sterritt *** Echoing the dreamlike logic and weird transformations of "Alice in Wonderland," this ambitious Japanese animation is an allegory on individuality and a glimpse into contemporary Japanese culture, as well as an imaginatively told fantasy.

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Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 10 scenes of cartoon violence, including animal attacks. Profanity: None. Drugs: 4 scenes of drinking, smoking.

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (PG)

Director: Robert Rodriguez. With Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara. (100 min.)

Staff *** Rodriguez crafts an imaginative sequel for kids that reflects his own creative urge to play - including enough nifty gadgets to make 007 drool. This time, the Cortez family's mission is to track down a device that may destroy the world. The trail leads to an island filled with hybrid animals. At times this colorful adventure causes sensory overload. But it teaches valuable lessons, like the importance of family and integrity. By Stephanie Cook Broadhurst

Staff ***1/2 Refreshingly childlike, strong sequel.

Sex/Nudity: None. Profanity: 1 mild expression. Violence: 8 scenes with mostly mild violence. Drugs: 2 scenes with alcohol.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown (PG)

Director: Paul Justman. With The Funk Brothers, Chaka Kahn, Joan Osborne. (108 min.)

Sterritt **** The self-named Funk Brothers were enormously gifted studio musicians who accompanied a wide range of Motown stars, from Stevie Wonder to Smoky Robinson and the Miracles. They changed the course of pop music while receiving little of the acclaim or attention they deserved. Justman redresses this injustice in his rollicking documentary about them, which will have your toes tapping and your ears sizzling.

Staff ***1/2 Energetic, informative, celebratory.

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 2 archival clips of violence against civil-rights activists. Profanity: 3 expressions. Drugs: 7 scenes of drinking, smoking.

Star Trek: Nemesis (PG-13)

Director: Stuart Baird. With Patrick Stewart, Tom Hardy, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton. (116 min.)

Staff *1/2 The crew from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" pilot the 10th Star Trek movie to the screen. But the warp drive is off line, and this alleged adventure never picks up much speed. Captain Picard must face an evil younger version of himself, with Earth and the Federation at stake. But the lack of fresh ideas leave viewers with something closer to Star dreck. By Gregory M. Lamb

Staff **1/2 Slow trek, tense, time to retire the fleet.

Sex/Nudity: 1 implied sex scene. Violence: 11 scenes, including combat and impalement. Profanity: 2 expressions. Drugs: 2 drinking scenes.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (PG)

Director: George Lucas. With Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman Samuel L. Jackson. (136 min.)

Sterritt ** Anakin Skywalker is now a fledgling Jedi knight who helps Senator Padmé hide from assassins while Obi-Wan Kenobi probes a threat from Dark Side enemies. The film has a broader range of emotions and visual effects than any installment since "The Empire Strikes Back," but the writing and acting are as stiff as R2-D2's metal torso. If clones are so scary, why does Lucas keep cloning pop-culture clichés he's latched onto from other films, including his own?

Staff **1/2 Cheesy dialogue, uninspired acting, technologically dazzling, Yoda is fantastic!

Sex/Nudity: Mild innuendo. Violence: 12 scenes, some long. Profanity: None. Drugs: 2 scenes with alcohol-like drinks.

Stealing Harvard (PG-13)

Director: Bruce McCulloch. With Tom Green, Jason Lee, Megan Mullally. (83 min.)