Director: Robert Rodriguez. With Cayden Boyd, Kristen Davis, David Arquette, George Lopez. (94 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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Sterritt ** You'll know who the target audience is when you discover the story's setting is called Planet Drool, and the hero is an imaginative schoolboy who joins the title characters to fight the evil Mr. Electric and save the world. Only part of it is in 3-D, but youngsters should enjoy pulling their special specs on and off at appropriate moments.
Director: François Ozon, With Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Stéphane Freiss, Françoise Fabian, Michael Lonsdale. (87 min.)
Sterritt *** A romance in reverse, starting with a couple's divorce and ending with their first feelings of mutual attraction. Staking out a middle ground between Gaspar Noé's shocking "Irreversible" and Harold Pinter's moving "Betrayal," which have somewhat similar structures, Ozon's drama is compellingly acted and rich in visual ideas, but a bit thin in its psychological approach. Contains graphic sex. In French with subtitles.
Director: Alexandre Aja. With Cécile de France, Maïwenn, Philippe Nahon, Franck Khalfoun. (86 min.)
Sterritt * Serial killing and other insanity in the French countryside, with ineptly dubbed English dialogue. Aja's shocker is an inferior rip-off of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" even before the chainsaw starts whirring, which it inevitably does.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki. With voices of Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal. (119 min.)
Sterritt **** See review, at right.
Director: Franny Armstrong. With Helen Steel, Dave Morris, various McDonalds executives. (85 min.)
Sterritt **** Riveting nonfiction account of a pair of young English folks who criticized the McDonald's chain for encouraging bad eating habits, then found themselves on the wrong side of England's libel laws, forced either to recant their position or defend themselves at tremendous trouble and expense. Riveting, suspenseful, and a perfect antidote to the too-tricky documentary "Super-Size Me."
Director: With Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, Kerry Washington. (120 min.)
Sterritt * Pitt and Jolie play secret agents who don't know each other's line of work when they get married, then become rivals and eventually partners in the licensed-to-kill game. The movie is a mish-mash of action-adventure clichés, book-ended with lame attempts at psychological interest. Written, directed, and acted with ham-fisted heaviness.
Director: Murray Nossel, With Mark, Erik, Wen. (74 min.)
Sterritt ** A woman agrees to be a surrogate child-bearer for a gay couple. Nossel's documentary, produced by Cinemax for its "Reel Life" series, has touching and instructive moments.
Director: Sébastien Lifshitz, With Stéphanie Michelini, Eduard Nikitine, Yasmine Belmadi. (93 min.)
Sterritt ** France is the setting, city vs. country is the central theme, and an illegal Russian immigrant, a transsexual, and a French Arab are the main characters. Shot by the gifted Agnes Godard, the drama was apparently inspired by "Walk on the Wild Side," the Lou Reed rock hit. But the primary impression is lots of moping and mooning, plus a song at the beginning with some of the worst lyrics you've ever heard. In French with subtitles.