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2002 Mega Movie Guide

(Page 48 of 49)

Director: Gary Burns. With Don McKellar, Tammy Isbell, James McBurney. (83 min.)

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Sterritt *** The setting is a Canadian urban complex, and the main characters are four young workers who've made a bet on who can go longest without venturing outside for a breath of non-recycled air. This smart, creative social satire skewers cheaply dehumanizing architecture and self-absorbed yuppie mentalities.

We Were Soldiers (R)

Director: Randall Wallace. With Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear. (140 min.)

Sterritt * Gibson leads US soldiers through a blood-filled battle of the Vietnam War in this fact-based but cliché-riddled melodrama. The filmmakers dish out guts-and-glory archetypes, meanwhile, every female character is portrayed as a midcentury stereotype. How can so much money and star power add up to so little authenticity and conviction?

Staff *** Grimly fascinating, horrific, square-jawed heroism.

Sex/Nudity: 1 scene of implied sex. Violence: 14 battle sequences, some gory. Profanity: 22 strong expressions. Drugs: 10 scenes smoking, drinking.

Welcome to Collinwood (R)

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. With William H. Macy, George Clooney, Jennifer Esposito. (96 min.)

Sterritt *** Small-time crooks decide to pull off a big-time heist in their Cleveland neighborhood, with predictably chaotic results. Inspired by Mario Monicelli's 1958 comedy "Big Deal on Madonna Street," the farce is energetically written, breezily acted, and never quite as dumb as the lunkheads it's about.

Wendigo (R)

Director: Larry Fessenden. With Jake Weber, Patricia Clarkson, Erik Per Sullivan, John Speredakos. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** Spending a get-away weekend in a borrowed farmhouse, a city couple has a tense feud with a demented deer hunter, and their eight-year-old son copes with his anxieties through encounters with a rage-filled phantasm. Fessenden's latest horror yarn is a smart and scary voyage into the uncanny realm where hard realities, mind-spinning myths, and hallucinatory visions blur.

What To Do in Case of Fire? (R)

Director: Gregor Schnitzler. With Til Schweiger, Nadia Uhl, Martin Feifel, Klaus Löwitsch. (102 min.)

Sterritt *** A group of scruffy German activists turn to political violence when the Berlin wall is crumbling, and then become average citizens who want to put the past behind them - until police find a piece of long-buried evidence that could land them all in jail unless they pull off one last caper to get it back. This energetically acted, creatively directed comedy-drama has every ingredient for success except a satisfying finale. In German with English subtitles.

What Time Is It There? (Not rated)

Director: Tasi Ming-Liang. With Lee Kang-Sheng, Chen Shiang-Chyi. (116 min.)

Sterritt **** A streetside salesman falls instantly in love with a woman who wants to buy a wristwatch from him. But she's heading to Paris for an extended stay, so he consoles himself by resetting every clock he can find to French time. Meanwhile the elusive traveler has a random series of Parisian adventures. Tsai's style is unique, unfolding the tale in static shots that allow you to discover their surprises on your own. In Cantonese, Mandarin, and French with English subtitles.

White Oleander (PG-13)

Director: Peter Kosminsky. With Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** A 15-year-old shuttles through a series of foster homes after her strong-willed mother is imprisoned for killing her abusive boyfriend. The acting is heartfelt and Kosminsky directs with quiet assurance. The story is too schematic, though, watching the heroine take on the coloration of each new environment as if she had almost no mind at all.