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Movie Guide

June 11, 2004

Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (Not rated)

Director: Rick McCay. With Rex Reed, Gena Rowlands, Jeremy Irons, Anne Jackson. (111 min.)

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Sterritt ** A documentary about Broadway theater before the '60s drastically changed it along with the rest of the American culture scene. The movie is mostly a megadose of good-old-days nostalgia. More archival footage and fewer talking heads would have made it more watchable, and most viewers under 60 will be mightily confused as to who many of these people are.

The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13)

Director: David Twohy. With Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Colm Feore, Judi Dench. (115 min.)

Sterritt * Riddick battles evil crusaders called Necromongers, helped by tips from a virtuous Elemental, and between them they save the galaxy and make Riddick supreme ruler of everything, which we're supposed to think is an excellent outcome. The special effects are extra special. The screenplay is idiotic, though, and Diesel speaks his dialogue like a Sylvester Stallone clone who never finished third grade.

Garfield (PG)

Director: Pete Hewitt. With Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, voice of Bill Murray. (80 min.)

Sterritt * The cat from Jim Davis's popular comic strip copes with a new dog in the household while his owner woos a pretty veterinarian. The blend of live action and animation is competently done, but the subtly mean-spirited screenplay has more sour meows than hearty laughs. Shown with a short cartoon called "Gone Nutty," which also isn't funny.

The Hunting of the President (Not rated)

Directors: Nickolas Perry, Harry Thomason. With Paul Begala, James Carville, Morgan Freeman. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** A history of the Clinton presidency, emphasizing the question of whether there was a vast conspiracy - or a gaggle of little ones - to bring it down before its time. Riveting and revealing whatever views you have on the partisan issues involved. Based on the book by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons.

Napoleon Dynamite (Not rated)

Director: Jared Hess. With Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez, Sandy Martin. (86 min.)

Sterritt *** See review.

The Stepford Wives (PG-13)

Director: Frank Oz. With Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick. (95 min.)

Sterritt * See review.

Word Wars (Not rated)

Directors: Eric Chaikin, Julian Petrillo. With Marlon Hill, Joel Sherman, Joe Edley, Matt Graham. (80 min.)

Sterritt *** A documentary portrait of four men who play Scrabble not only as a pastime in city parks but also in big-time tournaments with big-time money at stake. Light, lively, informative, fun.

Bukowski: Born Into This (Not rated)

Director: John Dullaghan. With Charles Bukowski, Sean Penn, Barbet Schroeder, Bono. (113 min.)

Sterritt *** A documentary portrait of the late American author and poet Charles Bukowski, showing him as more introspective and emotionally vulnerable than you'd think from his rough-and-tumble writing. Excerpts from Schroeder's long video documentary about him, and from the flawed melodrama "Barfly" they made together, add more variety.

Staff *** Riveting, visually pleasing, tragic yet inspiring.

Sex/Nudity: 12 scenes. Violence: 2 scenes. Profanity: 67 expressions. Drugs: 38 instances of smoking, 49 of drinking.

The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)