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Movie Guide

March 18, 2005

After the Apocalypse (Not rated)

Director: Yasuaki Nakajima. With Yasuaki Nakajima, Jacqueline Bowman, Moises Morales. (72 min.)

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Sterritt ** A handful of survivors fight one another for survival after a third world war. Dark, eccentric, silly.

The Flower Thief (Not rated)

Director: Ron Rice. With Taylor Mead, Linda Evanoff, Eric Nord, Ella Henry. (70 min.)

Sterritt **** A giant of "underground" film made this 1960 tragicomedy about a man on the fringes of American society. Mead's acting has been compared with that of Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin, and that's not as large a stretch as it sounds.

Ice Princess (G)

Director: Tim Fywell. With Michelle Trachtenberg, Joan Cusack, Kim Cattrall, Trevor Blumas. (98 min.)

Sterritt *** Should our high-school heroine stick with physics, which everyone says is her calling, or become a figure skater, which entices her when she tries to work out its aerodynamics in scientific terms? Trite but nice, this enjoyable comedy-drama has good-spirited warmth toward almost all its characters, from the domineering moms to the daughters beginning to find themselves. And it's great to see so many smart girls in a Hollywood movie!

Melinda and Melinda (PG-13)

Director: Woody Allen. With Radha Mitchell, Will Ferrell, Chloƫ Sevigny, Wallace Shawn. (100 min.)

Sterritt *** See review, at right.

Milk & Honey (Not rated)

Director: Joe Maggio. With Clint Jordan, Kirstin Russell, Eleanor Hutchins, Dudley Findlay Jr. (91 min.)

Sterritt *** During a long and sometimes ghoulish night, a suicidal husband recovers his shaky sanity while his wife dispenses with some of hers in an unlikely encounter with a performance artist. Maggio's second movie is as smart and surprising as his first, "Virgil Bliss," and he'll become a major talent if he overcomes an occasional weakness for contrived plot devices.

The Ring Two (PG-13)

Director: Hideo Nakata. With Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, Sissy Spacek, David Dorfman. (111 min.)

Sterritt *** More about the insidious video that kills its viewers if they don't copy it and pass it to another victim. Subtler than "The Ring" and scarier than "Ringu," the Japanese thriller that started it all, this is sequel-spinning with a vengeance. Watts is wonderful, and the story's forsaken-child theme still has plenty of horrific power.

Steamboy (PG-13)

Director: Katsuhero Otomo. With voices of Albert Molina, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Robin Atkin Downes. (106 min.)

Sterritt **** Visually stunning animation about a 19th-century boy caught between factions using steam power for combat and destruction in London, where most of the action takes place. Otomo outdoes his "Akira" with this cinematic feast, which also raises big moral questions about science as benefactor or enemy of true human progress.

Be Cool (PG-13)

Director: F. Gary Gray. With John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Cedric the Entertainer, Christina Milian. (114 min.)

Sterritt *Sequel to the 1995 hit "Get Shorty," with crook Chili Palmer putting his muscle behind the career of a gifted African-American singer. The overlong comedy has few laughs and flirts far too much with racist, homophobic humor. A waste of a fine cast.

Constantine (R)