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Movie Guide

July 23, 2004

The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (R)

Director: Takeshi Kitano. With Beat Takeshi, Michiyo Ogusu, Tadanobu Asano, Guadalcanal Taka. (116 min.)

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Sterritt *** Kitano plays the sightless samurai who sustained many Japanese action pictures in the 1960s. The new adventure is stylishly directed and smartly acted, especially by the filmmaker-star, who gives one of his best performances as the unerring swordsman. He could have left out the splashy musical number at the end, though. In Japanese with subtitles.

The Bourne Supremacy (PG-13)

Director: Paul Greengrass. With Matt Damon, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Julia Stiles. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** Sequel to "The Bourne Identity," which at least had some psychological tension as the hero learns what his identity is - namely, a CIA assassin with amnesia. This time it's just chasing, fistfighting, and shooting. A disappointment from the director of "Bloody Sunday."

Catwoman (PG-13)

Director: Pitof. With Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson. (97 min.)

Sterritt * Sassy superheroine battles criminal cosmetics king. Cartoonish effects and overacting make this more corn than catnip.

La Dolce Vita (Not rated)

Director: Federico Fellini. With Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Alain Cuny, Anouk Aimée. (175 min.)

Sterritt **** A jaded journalist observes and lives "the sweet life" of Rome in 1960. Fellini's dissection of modern decadence rings as true as ever today. A profound film by a legendary director in the greatest period of his career. In Italian with subtitles.

A Home at the End of the World (R)

Director: Michael Mayer. With Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Dallas Roberts, Sissy Spacek. (97 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (Not rated)

Directors: Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller. With Howard Zinn, Matt Damon, Alice Walker, Ray Mungo. (78 min.)

Sterritt ****Documentary celebrating the life and career of a longtime Boston University professor who feels intellectuals should be active, engaged citizens rather than repeaters of textbook truisms. Thoughtful, exciting, moving.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave (Not rated)

Director: Robert Kane Pappas. With Mark Crispin Miller, Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders. (84 min.)

Sterritt **** Ingenious, eye-opening documentary about the growing shallowness of American mass media as conglomerates buy news and entertainment outlets that effectively choke off most of their competition. Get ready for a cultural wake-and-shake you won't forget for a long, long time.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (PG-13)

Director: Adam McKay. With Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate. (94 min.)

Sterritt * In the days before cable, a TV news host juggles infatuation and intolerance when a female reporter joins his journalistic team. Imagine a movie where every character is more self-centered than Ted Baxter in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" of old, add a caboodle of idiotic jokes, and you have some idea of this ugly, unfunny farce. Its only interesting aspect is its willingness to dispense with even one competent, appealing character. Dumb, dumber, dumberest!

Staff **1/2 Silly, disjointed, crass.

Sex/Nudity: 20 instances. Violence: 5 scene. Profanity: 33 mostly mild expressions. Drugs: 28 scenes of drinking, smoking.

A Cinderella Story (PG)