AND NOW LADIES & GENTLEMEN (Claude Lelouch) rivals any P. T. Anderson film for bizarre, disjointed stories and subplots that go nowhere slowly and definitely not surely. This love story about a thief (Jeremy Irons) and a melancholic chanteuse (torch singer Patricia Kaas in her acting debut) doesn't simply play with the narrative. It's a game of hide-and-seek, and the characters are almost as lost as the audience. With its romantic theme and celebration of music, Lelouch is obviously trying to recreate the magic of his 1966 Oscar winner, A Man And A Woman. Given the confused state of the leads and the stream-of-consciousness direction, it's more like A Man And A Woman And A Blow To The Head. 126 min. NN (Lori Fireman)
Opens Aug 8 at the Varsity.
BUFFALO SOLDIERS (Gregor Jordan) - See review. 98 min. NNN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 8 at Paramount.
CAMP (Todd Graff) has several nerdy kids going to summer theatre camp and learning who they really are. It's Fame Redux, from the soapy plot right down to the composer. If the thought of teenagers strutting their Ethel Mermanesque stuff for nigh on two hours makes you seasick, stay away. However, if you happen to be a teenage musical theatre fan or if you harbour a secret nostalgia for the earnest simplicity of the ABC after-school specials of your youth, this might be the ticket. It's as wholesome and irony-free as if the cast of Free To Be... You & Me had been cryogenically frozen and then thawed out as adolescents. 114 min. NN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 8 at the Varsity.
LE DIVORCE (James Ivory) is a genteel comedy of manners, the slightly less risqué Merchant-Ivory version of Diane Johnson's popular novel about two American sisters and their romantic adventures among the Parisians. There's plenty of gentle cultural joshing about scarves and hairdos, and a satisfyingly twisty plot with a clean ending. Kate Hudson is winsome as the California blond transmogrified into a French chick, and Stockard Channing is sturdy and skilful as her brassy American mom. The actors don't get in the way of the classy sets, costumes and food, the admiration of which is the real reason to go see this kind of movie. 115 min. NNN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 8 at Cumberland.
MASKED AND ANONYMOUS (Larry Charles) could have been fun. It's a dystopian musical fantasy starring Bob Dylan and a cast of slightly overripe celebrities (including a brittle Jessica Lange and a grizzled Jeff Bridges). But where it ought to have humour, the script leaks gassy pseudo-philosophy like something you might find hand-typed, double-spaced and on sale for five bucks at a New Age bookstore. Still, if you're partial to Dylan's latest incarnation it might be worth dozing through the talky parts of this turkey to catch the musical numbers, where he does his old, weird American granddad thing, complete with pencil moustache, 10-gallon hat and powerful, croaking vocals. 112 min. NN (Wendy Banks)
Opens Aug 8 at Canada Square, Carlton.
S.W.A.T. (Clark Johnson) updates the 70s TV series with more hardware and bigger stars. Samuel L. Jackson assembles a predictably badass crew that includes Colin Farrell, LL Cool J and Michelle (Blue Crush) Rodriguez. It's all butch enough and cop enough, but where's the villain? Olivier Martinez, the French lover from Unfaithful, is more pouty than threatening, and the movie wastes his big gambit - $100 million to whoever springs him from prison. Farrell works hard to make this movie Speed, but Jackson gives a commercial for himself in place of a performance. An adequate time-waster. 115 min. NN (CB)
Opens Aug 8 at 401 & Morningside, 5 Drive-In Oakville, Beach Cinemas, Coliseum Mississauga, Coliseum Scarborough, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Elgin Mills, First Markham Place, Grande - Steeles, Grande - Yonge, Paramount, Queensway, Rainbow Fairview, Rainbow Market Square, Rainbow Promenade, Rainbow Woodbine, SilverCity Mississauga, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, SilverCity Yonge, Varsity.