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Movie Guide

April 15, 2005

The Amityville Horror (R)

Director: Andrew Douglas. With Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Philip Baker Hall, Rachel Nichols. (89 min.)

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Sterritt *** When a good Long Island house goes bad. Not to mention a family, a baby sitter, and a doorknob with a mind of its own. This remake stays close to the eponymous 1979 horror movie it's based on, except for being precisely 10,000 times scarier.

Eros (R)

Directors: Wong Kar Wai, Steven Soderbergh, Michelangelo Antonioni. With Alan Arkin, Gong Li, Robert Downey Jr., Luisa Ranieri. (104 min.)

Sterritt **** Three short movies with sexual themes by filmmakers of extraordinary interest. The best is "Equilibrium" by Soderbergh, about a man being analyzed by a distracted shrink. Next best is "The Hand" by Wong, about a Hong King tailor in love with a client. "The Dangerous Thread of Things," about a man involved with two women, shows the aging, ailing Antonioni still vigorously probing his lifelong theme of existential isolation. All are tactfully filmed by current standards. In English, Mandarin, and Italian, with subtitles.

House of D (PG-13)

Director: David Duchovny. With David Duchovny, Téa Leoni, Robin Williams, Zelda Williams. (97 min.)

Sterritt * See review.

Major Dundee: The Extended Version (Not rated)

Director: Sam Peckinpah. With Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Senta Berger, Warren Oates. (126 min.)

Sterritt *** Augmented with 12 minutes of previously unseen footage - and a whole new music score to replace the original one, which Peckinpah hated - this reissue brings the 1965 western closer than ever to the full version that was slashed by its studio before its release. It's not a masterpiece, but its story of Civil War enemies banding together for battle against Indian warriors and French soldiers packs an occasional wallop.

Palindromes (Not rated)

Director: Todd Solondz. With Ellen Barkin, Matthew Faber, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alexander Brickel. (100 min.)

Sterritt **** The controversial Solondz strikes again with this indirect sequel to "Welcome to the Dollhouse," focusing on a 13-year-old girl whose desire to get pregnant sends her into a strange odyssey away from her family and friends. Having several actresses (and an actor) portray the heroine is just one of the drama's weirdly absorbing strategies. Like all this adventurous filmmaker's work, it's truly one of a kind.

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.

Beauty Shop (PG-13)

Director: Bille Woodruff. With Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Alicia Silverstone, Andie MacDowell. (105 min.)

***1/2 Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) tries her own hand at beauty-shop bliss and far outshines and out-styles her counterparts from the hit movie, "Barbershop." Packed with clichés and all the regular plot twists and turns, the film has grander moments that offer a real depth that overshadows the more formulaic elements. Beauty Shop is a laugh-out-loud, feel-good film that will endear viewers to its eclectic cast. By Elizabeth Owuor.

Guess Who (PG-13)