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Movie Guide

October 17, 2003


Returner (R)

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Director: Takashi Yamazaki. With Ann Suzuki, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kirin Kiki, Goro Kishitani. (116 min.)

Sterritt ** A time-traveling teenage girl arrives from the future with the mission of killing an outer-space alien who'll cause global war if not eliminated now. Hovering between "Last Action Hero" and "E.T.," this sci-fi extravaganza is bookended with violence but has some gentle moments in between. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Runaway Jury (PG-13)

Director: Gary Fleder. With Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Rachel Weisz. (123 min.)

Sterritt ** See full review, page 15.

Sylvia (R)

Director: Christine Jeffs. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Blythe Danner, Michael Gambon. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** See full review, page 15.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (R)

Director: Marcus Nispel. With Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, Erica Leerhsen, R. Lee Ermey. (98 min.)

Sterritt ** Far from home, five clueless 20-somethings run into a demented girl, a sinister cop, a cannibal family, and ... the title tells the rest. A lot more violent and a tad less creepy than the 1974 original, the much-changed remake delivers enough gory, belligerent mayhem to keep horror fans screaming.

Veronica Guerin (R)

Director: Joel Schumacher. With Cate Blanchett, Gerard McSorley, Brenda Fricker, Colin Farrell. (92 min.)

Sterritt *** See full review, page 15.

Bubba Ho-Tep (R)

Director: Don Coscarelli. With Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Reggie Bannister, Bob Ivy. (92 min.)

Sterritt *It turns out Elvis Presley is alive but not so well, living in a rest home where he and a crazy crony start to suspect an ancient Egyptian spirit is menacing the place. Davis contributes his usual dignity - not easy when you're playing a character who thinks he's John F. Kennedy dyed black - but it's not enough to save this silly thriller-comedy.

Good Boy! (PG)

Director: John Robert Hoffman. With Liam Aiken, Kevin Nealon, Molly Shannon, and the voices of Matthew Broderick, Brittany Murphy, Carl Reiner. (89 min.)

Staff * Talking dogs were cute, once. It's a wonder that the genre, started by the marvelous "Babe," has any currency left after "Cats and Dogs" and "Snow Dogs." In "Good Boy," the dogs themselves are worthy of show at Crufts. It's a tad disconcerting, however, when a German Shepherd starts lip syncing to the voice of Carl Reiner so it can complain about flatulence. That's typical of the dialogue in this story about a lonely boy (Aiken) who discovers a UFO with a dog who comes from a planet ruled by mutts. The canine visitor is astonished to find that earth dogs are subservient to humans instead of ruling the planet. Given the intelligence level of "Good Boy," he might have a point. By Stephen Humphries

Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 3 mild scenes. Profanity: 5 profanities. Drugs: None.

House of the Dead (R)

Director: Uwe Boll. With Jürgen Prochnow, Clint Howard. (92 min.)

DUD When five young people arrive late at a rave on the deserted "Isla de la Muerte," most of the partygoers have fallen victim to resident zombies seeking replacement body parts. Fortunately a smuggler is on hand to provide weapons for our heroes' defense. The movie, like the videogame series it inspired, features nonstop killing. If that doesn't make you scream, the sheer stupidity of this movie will. By M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 6 scenes of innuendo, nudity. Violence: 24 very gory scenes. Profanity: 54 profanities. Drugs: 10 scenes of drinking, smoking.

Intolerable Cruelty (PG-13)

Director: Joel Coen. With George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Cedric the Entertainer. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** A high-powered attorney (Clooney) falls for a gorgeous gold digger (Zeta-Jones) while representing her husband in their divorce proceedings, producing an elaborate web of comic situations sprinkled with one-liners and coincidences. There's enough dark, cynical, and eccentric moments to make this a true Coen brothers satire of modern life and love rather than a standard romantic comedy.

Staff **1/2 Screwball comedy, witty banter, overdone.

Sex/Nudity: At least 4 scenes of implied sex. Innuendo throughout. Violence: 8 scenes, including shooting, comic violence. Profanity: 45 mild profanities. Drugs: 10 scenes of drinking; 1 with smoking.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (R)