New releasesNew releases
america's sweethearts (2001, Columbia TriStar), dir. Joe Roth w/ Julia Roberts, John Cusack. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Cusack play divorced movie stars forced to get together for a press junket. Roberts chirps in as Zeta-Jones's sister, who's in love with Cusack. The film's mega-star power is shorted out by Billy Crystal's and Peter Tolan's weak script, which sounds like the sitcom version of a Preston Sturges comedy. There's absolutely no chemistry between Roberts and Cusack, a fact that's perfectly demonstrated when they wake after a night of passion fully clothed. NN
Big-screen rating: No one makes better sport of Hollywood idiocies than Hollywood itself. NNN (JH)
crazy/beautiful (2001, MGM/UA), dir. John Stockwell w/ Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez. Poor Latino boy (Hernandez) falls for rich, mentally unstable white girl (Dunst), and the adult world is turned upside down. Dunst's intense, emotionally open performance as a girl in need of meds makes this predictable teen drama very watchable, and the stoic Hernandez benefits from her energized aura. NNN
Big-screen rating: Astonishing emotional moments from actors stuck with a cheesy Hollywood script. NNN (JH)
Also this weekAlso this week
Apocalypse Now: Redux, The Matrix Revisited, Planet Of The Apes
The Closet, Hey, Happy, Lumumba, Pootie Tang
DVD picks of the weekDVD picks of the week
lara croft: tomb raider (2001, Paramount), dir. Simon West w/ Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig. Jolie kicks ass as the buxom heiress/adventurer. Too bad the movie sucks. Jolie is Hollywood's most smouldering star, but she's saddled with a pristine, prissy cardboard character. What a waste, so on to the extras...
So-so commentary by director West, four deleted scenes, U2's Elevation video and five mini-documentaries on the making of the film and the video game, including one that charts Jolie's pre-film training and one looking at the film's elaborate sets and stunts. Very cool. 100 minutes. NNN.
the remains of the day: special edition (1993, Columbia TriStar), dir. James Ivory w/ Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson. Despite the fact that it's about war and passion, Kazuo Ishiguro's story is full of devastating left-unsaids. And without the novel's detail, it's all down to the actors. Luckily, Thompson and Hopkins turn in career-best performances, Hopkins free from his antics and Thompson less pleasing than she likes to be.