Director: Martin Campbell. With Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones. (100 min.)Skip to next paragraph
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"The Legend of Zorro," starring Antonio Banderas as the masked one, made me long to re-watch "Zorro the Gay Blade," the great spoof starring George Hamilton. In that film, the Spanish accents were meant to sound deliberately fake. (Zorro kept referring to "the people" as "the pipple." ) Here, even Banderas sounds like he's having a hard time sounding authentic. Catherine Zeta-Jones, as Zorro's swashbuckling wife Elena, looks fetching but doesn't have much to do otherwise. Zorro's nemesis, a French aristocrat played by Rufus Sewell, sports heavy eyeliner and has plans to blow up America. He seems to be under the misapprehension that Zorro is James Bond. Grade: C-
- Peter Rainer
Director: Hany Abu-Assad. With Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman. (90 min.)
Said (Nashef) and his friend Khaled (Suliman) are recruited as human bombs by an underground Palestinian terrorist organization in the West Bank in the intermittently powerful "Paradise Now," which was directed and co-written by Hany Abu-Assad. He attempts with mixed results to get inside the psyches of men who would blow themselves up for the cause. The film is better than the recent "The War Within," which tried for the same things, but ultimately, and perhaps unavoidably, we are left face to face with the unknowable. Grade: B+
Director: Tony Scott. With Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Lucy Liu. (127 min.)
The real-life Domino, a Bounty Hunter who died in June of an apparent overdose, was the daughter of actor Laurence Harvey and supermodel socialite Pauline Stone. Clearly what lured director Tony Scott, who knew Domino, is the massive contradiction of her life: Born into the glamour of London and Beverly Hills, she ended up a female Rambo. Whatever reality the actual Domino may have possessed has been sliced and diced by Scott's usual barrage of whiplash camera work and rat-a-tat editing, complete with flashbacks, flash forwards, and flash in-betweens. Grade: C-
Sex/Nudity: 8 scenes including nudity and implied sex Violence: 20 brutal scenes. Profanity: 186 harsh expressions. Drugs: 30 scenes with drinking and 28 scenes with smoking.
Director: John Gatins. With Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning. (102 min.)
When racehorse Soñador breaks a leg, trainer Ben Crane (Russell) sees a potential brood mare, if he can at least get her well enough to walk. We've seen it all before, but this one is so well made it's a sure crowd pleaser. Grade: B
- M.K. Terrell
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 2 mild scenes. Profanity: 4 mild expressions. Drugs: None.
Director: Cameron Crowe. With Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin. (123 min.)