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Movie Guide

February 28, 2003

All the Real Girls (R)

Director: David Gordon Green. With Paul Schneider, Zooey Deschanel, Patricia Clarkson. (108 min.)

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Sterritt ** See review.

Chi-Hwa-Seon (Painted Fire) (Not rated)

Director: Im Kwon-taek. With Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ho-jung, Ahn Sung-ki, Kim Yeo-jin. (117 min.)

Sterritt **** This color-drenched Korean drama takes its visual and narrative inspiration from the life and work of a 19th-century Korean painter who captivated art lovers while battling personal demons at a time of great social and cultural change. Im has made almost 100 movies, and while this isn't a masterpiece on the level of his great "Chunhyang," it packs a sophisticated cinematic punch.

Horns and Halos (Not rated)

Directors: Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley. With James Hatfield, Sander Hicks, Mark Crispin Miller. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** This is a chilling and engrossing documentary about an author whose life took wild turns when his biography of George W. Bush lost its berth with a mainstream press, leading him to team up with a maverick publisher instead. The movie should fascinate anyone interested in politics, publishing, and the uneasy marriage between big money and mass communication.

Spider (R)

Director: David Cronenberg. With Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynne Redgrave. (98 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Daredevil (PG-13)

Director: Mark Steven Johnson. With Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner. (96 min.)

Staff * Batman, Superman, Spidey, and now Daredevil? Yes, Daredevil, the comic-book hero created in 1964 by Stan Lee. Ten minutes into it, you won't need superhuman senses to realize it won't be a great movie. Affleck plays Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day, action hero by night. He lost his sight as a young boy in a freak accident. Suddenly, he has heightened senses, can leap from building to building, and fight expertly with his walking stick. There's plenty of action - almost too much - but the characters aren't likable, the plot is thin, and the acting is robotic. This is no "Spider-Man." It's a dark, gritty world, and the violence is exhausting. By Lisa Leigh Connors

Staff **1/2 Violent, mindless, comic-bookish.

Sex/Nudity: 1 instance of innuendo; 1 scene of implied sex. Violence: 20 scenes, including bloody fights. Profanity: 11 expressions. Drugs: 10 scenes of drinking and smoking.

Dark Blue (R)

Director: Ron Shelton. With Kurt Russell, Lolita Davidovich, Scott Speedman, Ving Rhames. (116 min.)

Sterritt *** Russell plays a Los Angeles cop who sees bending the rules as an everyday aspect of bringing the bad guys down. Speedman plays his partner, a rookie who isn't fully indoctrinated into this hard-boiled mind-set. Also present are Brendan Gleeson as an LAPD commander who sees cops and crooks as his personal puppets, and Rhames as an assistant chief driven by political ambition. This could have been a routine police- corruption drama, but it gains dramatic energy from Russell's passionate acting and from James Ellroy's idea of setting the tale when four real-life crooked cops are about to be acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.

Staff **1/2 Gritty, predictable, rough.

Sex/Nudity: 1 sex scene. 1 scene of partial nudity. Violence: 15 scenes, including murders, beatings, and riots. Profanity: 192 harsh expressions. Drugs: 14 scenes of smoking and drinking.

Gerry (R)

Director: Gus Van Sant. With Matt Damon, Casey Affleck. (103 min.)

Sterritt **** Two young men embark on a hike in a lonely patch of wilderness, then discover they're deeply and dangerously lost. This bravely offbeat drama is a radical experiment in stripping a story to its bare essentials, then pushing those essentials as far as they'll go, asking spectators to be as intrepid and tenacious as the characters. It reconfirms Van Sant as one of today's most original filmmakers, and Damon as a star who's not afraid to take box-office risks.

Gods and Generals (PG-13)

Director: Ronald F. Maxwell. With Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang, Mira Sorvino. (225 min.)