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Movie Guide

April 9, 2004



NEW RELEASES
The Alamo (PG-13)

Director: John Lee Hancock. With Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Dennis Quaid, Emilio Echevarría. (136 min.)

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Sterritt * See review.

The Blonds (Not rated)

Director: Albertina Carri. With Analía Couceyro, Jesica Suarez, Santiago Giralt, Albertina Carri. (89 min.)

Sterritt **** This highly offbeat documentary focuses on the filmmaker's effort to find out the fate of her parents, who "disappeared" and probably were killed during Argentina's notorious "dirty war." What distinguishes the movie is its inventive, multifaceted way of questioning whether the "truth" of past events can ever be separated from the memories, longings, and scanty evidence that inextricably surrounds it. Highly recommended. Originally titled "Los Rubios."

Ella Enchanted (PG)

Director: Tommy O'Haver. With Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Minnie Driver. (95 min.)

Staff ** Fans of Gail Carson Levine will find little of her charming book in this big-screen version of the Cinderella tale. What does remain is Levine's clever twist: a curse of obedience that requires Ella to do everything that's asked of her. "Ella" has energy enough, and will probably appeal to tweens, but adds too many gimmicks to a story that had plenty going for it already. By Kim Campbell

The Girl Next Door (R)

Director: Luke Greenfield. With Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, Timothy Olyphant, James Remar. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** A porn actress (Cuthbert) moves in next door to a geeky high-school student (Hirsch) who needs to loosen up a bit, and after many misadventures they affect each other's lives for the better. Olyphant steals the show as a cheeky porn producer. The rest is gimmicky and predictable, except for a clever surprise near the end.

I'm Not Scared (R)

Director: Gabriele Salvatores. With Mattia Di Pierro, Giuseppe Cristiano, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. (108 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

Mayor of the Sunset Strip (R)

Director: George Hickenlooper. With Rodney Bingenheimer, Pamela Des Barres, Courtney Love. (94 min.)

Sterritt **** So shy and bland that you want to cuddle him, Bingenheimer was famous for 15 minutes as a rock-scene fellow traveler in the '60s, and drew ongoing acclaim for his ability to discover wild new bands via his Los Angeles radio show. But his zero-level charisma quotient worked against him, and he ended up with a late-night broadcast that younger listeners found woefully out of touch. Hickenlooper's poignant documentary portrays him as a sort of recessive Andy Warhol type whose very ordinariness became a blank screen for others to project their fantasies upon. Like its star, it's quietly sincere and compulsively watchable.

Twentynine Palms (R)

Director: Bruno Dumont. With David Wissak, Yekaterina Golubeva. (119 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

The Whole Ten Yards (PG-13)

Director: Howard Deutsch. With Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Natasha Henstridge. (97 min.)

Sterritt * Strenuously unfunny sequel to the 2000 hit "The Whole Nine Yards," about a suburban dentist mixed up with a mobster who's moved into the neighborhood to evade his enemies. Kevin Pollak has some spunk as a Hungarian gang boss. The rest is unredeemed inanity.

CURRENTLY IN RELEASE
Hellboy (PG-13)

Director: Guillermo Del Toro. With Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor. (122 min.)

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