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Movie Guide

November 19, 2004

Bad Education (Not rated)

Director: Pedro Almodóvar. With Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Lluis Homar, Daniel Giménez Cacho. (105 min.)

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Sterritt *** Reading a story by a childhood friend, a movie director relives a complicated past of love and sexual abuse at a Franco-era parochial school. Spain's most important living filmmaker isn't at his very best in this complicated tale, but it raises still-timely questions well worth pondering. In Spanish with subtitles.

The Big Red One (R)

Director: Samuel Fuller. With Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Stéphane Audran. (163 min.)

Sterritt *** A crusty old sergeant herds his Army unit through a string of World War II adventures. Reissued with the addition of 50 minutes trimmed from the original 1980 cut, Fuller's only A-budget movie is still among the lesser works of this frequently brilliant filmmaker.

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (Not rated)

Director: Shola Lynch. With Shirley Chisholm, Ronald Dellums, Susan Brownmiller, Amiri Baraka. (76 min.)

Sterritt **** Documentary about the only African-American woman to make a serious run for the US presidency. Hearing her speak her finely honed mind in unscripted, un-"handled" terms is worth the price of admission in itself.

Days of Being Wild (Not rated)

Director: Wong Kar-Wai. With Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Leslie Cheung, Andy Lau. (89 min.)

Sterritt **** A loose-living man, an ordinary waitress, and a wandering cop-turned-sailor are among the characters of this moody, brilliantly filmed Hong Kong drama. It's inexplicable that Wong's early masterpiece has been virtually absent from American screens since he completed it in 1991. In Cantonese with subtitles.

Go Further (Not rated)

Director: Ron Mann. With Woody Harrelson, Natalie Merchant, Steve Clark, Dave Matthews. (78 min.)

Sterritt ** Documentary about a Harrelson tour of West Coast colleges touting vegetarian food and yogic exercise. Meant to be a romp in the old Ken Kesey tradition, it's more like a dull drive with a bunch of leftover flower children.

National Treasure (PG)

Director: Jon Turteltaub. With Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight. (131 min.)

Sterritt ** "The Da Vinci Code" meets "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in this slam-bang adventure about two teams, one good and one evil, scrutinizing patriotic artifacts for clues to a hidden Masonic treasure. Too bad the clever bits are swamped by no-brainer gunfights, rescues, and chases galore.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (PG)

Directors: Sherm Cohen, Stephen Hillenburg, Mark Osborne. With voices of Tom Kenny, Alec Baldwin, Bill Fagerbakke, Jeffrey Tambor. (87 min.)

Sterritt **** See review.

After the Sunset (R)

Director: Brett Ratner. With Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle. (97 min.)

Sterritt ** A cop chases a crook who covets a huge, exotic diamond. This indirect rehash of "To Catch a Thief" trades Hitchcockian shrewdness for the slickest kinds of Hollywood glitz, gloss, and vulgarity.

Sex/Nudity: 9 instances of innuendo. Violence: 7 Profanity: 27 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 15 instances of drinking, 3 of smoking.

Alfie (R)

Director: Charles Shyer. With Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Omar Epps, Marisa Tomei. (103 min.)