Moviecrazed
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APRIL 2003

CET AMOUR-LA: Jeanne Moreau, Aymeric Demarigny, Chritiane Roratol, Sophie Milleron, Justine Levy, Stanislas Sauphanor, Didier Lesour, Tanya Lopert (Directed by Josee Dayan; New Yorker Films) An extraordinarily romantic student falls in love with the works of famous French author Marguerite Duras and writes her an admiring letter per day over a lengthy period of time. Finally, when he is 23, he is invited by the temperamental, hard-drinking 65-year-old literary lioness to come for a little visit. This time, he falls in love with the real thing, and his little visit lasts for 16 years—the duration of their frequently tender, occasionally brutal relationship. Now Playing

THE GOOD THIEF: Nick Nolte, Nutsa Kukhianidze, Ralph Fiennes, Tcheky Karyo, Emir Kusturica, Jason Flemyng, Gerard Damon, Ouassini Embarek, Nino Kukhanidze, Marc Lavoine, James Quatroch, Said Taghmanoui (Directed by Neil Jordan; Alliance Atlantis) Irishman Jordan directs American Nolte in this remake of Frenchman Jean-Pierre Melville's "Bob le Flameur," a noir thriller about a gambler with a substance abuse problem and his beautiful protegee, who may not be as loyal as she seems. Maybe Bob will be the role that earns Nick--under-appreciated in such films as "Q & A," "Cape Fear," "Afterglow" and "Affliction"--the international respect he deserves. Or will Bob's bad habits seem too close to Nick's for audience comfort? (To read Guy Flatley's 1979 interview with Nick Nolte, click here) Now Playing

THE GUYS: Sigourney Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia, Irene Walsh, Jim Simpson, Charlotte Simpson (Directed by Jim Simpson; Focus Features) In the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, a journalist helps a Fire Department captain write eulogies for eight of his men. Now Playing

ASSASSINATION TANGO: Robert Duvall, Luciana Pedraza, Ruben Blades, Kathy Baker, Julio Oscar Mechoso, James Keane, Frank Gio, Katherine Micheaux Miller, Frank Cassavetes, Michael Corrente, Raul Outeda, Geraldine Rojas, Elvio Nessier (Directed by Robert Duvall; United Artists) A worn and weary hit man, assigned to terminate an evil Argentinian, takes time off to learn the tango from (and fall in love with) a gorgeous, much younger woman. Now Playing

DYSFUNKTIONAL FAMILY: Eddie Griffin (Directed by George Gallo and Eddie Griffin; Miramax) Let-it-all-hang-out comic Eddie Griffin combines material from his concert performances with slices of reality from his family life (including footage of his Uncle Buckey, an ex-pimp, and his Uncle Curtis, Kansas City's foremost connoisseur of pornography). Now Playing

LEVITY: Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, Kirsten Dunst, Dorian Harewood, Geoffrey Wigdor, Luke Robertson, Billoah Greene, Catherine Colvey, Manuel Aranguiz (Directed by Ed Solomon; Sony Pictures Classics) Although he’d rather stay put in the pen, a man who committed a stupid murder when he was a teenager is set free and forced to confront the consequences of his crime. Now Playing

A MAN APART: Vin Diesel, Larenz Tate, Timothy Olyphant, Steve Eastin, Jacqueline Obradors, Geno Silva, Jeff Kober (Directed by F. Gary Gray; New Line) Government agents Diesel and Tate pool their brains with an imprisoned drug lord in order to bring the baddie’s successor--a man known simply as Diablo--to justice. The deal-makers at New Line are already talking about a sequel. Now Playing

THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Juhani Niemela, Kaija Pakarinen, Sakari Kuosmanen (Directed by Aki Kaurismaki; Sony Pictures Classics) An unemployed man travels to Helsinki in search of work and is robbed and brutally beaten soon after stepping off the train. Now, unable to remember who he is or where he comes from, he must depend on the kindness of strangers. Now Playing

PHONE BOOTH: Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard T. Jones, Radha Mitchell, Katie Holmes, Maile Flanagan, Chris Huvane, Tia Texada (Directed by Joel Schumacher; Fox) What if you were strolling down a Manhattan street, heard a phone ringing, stepped into the booth, picked up the receiver, and the voice on the other end said if you hang up, you'll be killed within seconds? That's what happens to the publicist played by Colin Farrell, Ireland's gift to Hollywood, in this drama from erratic director Joel Schumacher, who did his best work teamed with Farrell in "Tigerland." Originally set to open on 11-15, "Phone Booth" went into hiding shortly after the Beltway Snipers embarked on a lethal rampage. Apparently, it's okay to come out now. Now Playing

WHAT A GIRL WANTS: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Anna Chancellor, Tom Harper, Jonathan Pryce, Eileen Atkins, Oliver James, Chris Mulkey (Directed by Dennie Gordon; Warner Bros.) In 1958, spunky Sandra Dee made a modest splash as an American teenager who is reunited with her snobbish British father--played by the suavely bored Rex Harrison--in Vincente Minnelli’s "The Reluctant Debutante." Even though the director worked a few miracles in jazzing up William Douglas Home’s insipid play for the screen, the film was minor Minnelli at best. Who knows what Dennie Gordon—the director who shattered David Spade’s dreams of movie glory with "Joe Dirt"—will do with the remake? Two more questions: will Colin Firth make us forget Rex Harrison, and will Warner Bros. lure the reclusive Ms. Dee to the premiere of "What a Girl Wants"? Now Playing

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei, Woody Harrelson, John Turturro, Luis Guzman, Allen Covert, Harry Dean Stanton, Jonathan Loughran (Directed by Peter Segal; Columbia Pictures) Adam Sandler--a man who seems to be in every other movie opening these days--is a decent boss unjustly accused of employee abuse. For his punishment, he is subjected to the flamboyantly unorthodox treatment of an anger management expert from hell. That's right, Jack is baaaack! (To read Guy Flatley's 1974 interview with Jack Nicholson, click here.) Now Playing

BETTER LUCK TOMORROW: Perry Shen, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan, John Cho, Karin Anna Cheung, Jerry Mathers (Directed by Justin Lin; MTV Films) What happens when a sober, super-achieving Asian-American student falls in with a noisy drugs & booze crowd in an otherwise quiet Southern California suburb? Plenty, and it's not pretty. Is there a chance that a suitable role model will materialize? Perhaps that's where the biology teacher played by Jerry Mathers--far too scarce since the days of "Leave It To Beaver"--comes in. Now Playing

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES: Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Michael J. Pollard, Sheri Moon, Jeanne Carmen, Chris Hardwick, Tom Towles, Erin Daniels, Dennis Fimple (Directed by Rob Zombie; The Shooting Gallery) Two storm-tossed couples take refuge in a shambles of a house. The hosts do their best to make the unexpected guests feel at home, but they just can't curb their raunchy, cannibalistic appetites. Now Playing

XX/XY: Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson, Maya Stange, Petra Wright, David Thornton, Kel O'Neill (Directed by Austin Chick; IFC Films) Ruffalo--so engaging as the rebel who refuses to be a grown-up in "You Can Count on Me"--is at it again, failing, over a period of eight years, to commit to either of two worthy women drawn to him. Nevertheless, they're still mad about the boy. Now Playing

THE YOUNG UNKNOWNS: Devon Gummersall, Arly Jover, Eion Bailey, Leslie Bibb, Dale Godboldo, Simon Templeman (Directed by Catherine Jelski; Indican Pictures) The son of an affluent commercials director thinks he has a great chance of becoming the next big auteur but spends most of his time lazing about his old man's Hollywood home, doping and boozing with his uncouth best buddy. The kid's got nowhere to go but nowhere. Now Playing

BULLETPROOF MONK: Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, James King, Karel Roden, Victoria Smurfit, Mako, Patrick Hagarty, Chris Collins (Directed by Paul Hunter; MGM/UA) Here’s the deal: a noble monk (Chow Yun-Fat) who spends more time kung-fuing than meditating must persuade a cocky young American (Seann William Scott) to shed his selfish ways and devote himself to keeping a sacred scroll out of wicked hands. Got that? Now Playing

CHASING PAPI: Eduardo Verastegui, Roselyn Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Maria Conchita Alonso, D.L. Hughley, Paul Rodriguez (Directed by Linda Mendoza; Fox) Papi is a bold Latin lover who lives in L.A. and has fiancees stashed in New York, Chicago and Miami. His luck runs out one weekend when all three women catch on to his game and decide to change the rules. Now Playing

A MIGHTY WIND: Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Larry Miller, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard (Directed by Christopher Guest; Warner Bros.) Stars of the sixties folk-music scene stage a reunion of sorts in this mockumentary from the zanies responsible for "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show." I hated "Guffman" and loved "Show," so I don’t know what to expect. Now Playing

HOLES: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Patricia Arquette, Shia LaBeouf, Tim Blake Nelson, Henry Winkler, Nathan Davis, Khleo Thomas, Jake M. Smith, Byron Cotton (Directed by Andrew Davis; Disney) No-nonsense prison warden Sigourney Weaver and her two yes-men, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson, make juvenile inmates dig holes in the sand because it helps build character. Or so says Sigourney, who happens to know something she shouldn’t know about some buried treasure. Do you think I’m making this up? Well, I’m not—this is actually what the little sucker is all about. Now Playing

LILYA 4-EVER: Oksana Akinshina, Artiom Bogucharski, Elina Benenson, Liliya Shinkaryova, Pavel Ponomaryov, Tomas Neumann, Lyubov Agapova, Tonu Kark, Anastasia B edredinova, Nikolai Bentsler (Directed by Lukas Moodysson; New Market Films) A despairing young Soviet woman falsely accused of being a prostitute is persauaded by a seemingly romantic countryman to to flee to Sweden, where matters quickly get worse. Now Playing

MALIBU'S MOST WANTED: Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs, Anthony Anderson, Blair Underwood, Regina Hall, Damien Dante Wayans, Ryan O'Neal, Snoop Dogg (Directed by John Whitesell; Warner Bros.) A spoiled-rotten kid who is definitely not from the Hood is determined to become a big-time rapper, which upsets his father, who is determined to become the governor of California. Now Playing

WINGED MIGRATION: (Directed by Jacques Perrin; Sony Pictures Classics) Lovingly photographed all over the world, this Oscar-nominated documentary--directed by esteemed actor Jacques Perrin--is, unastonishingly, about the mysterious patterns of birds in flight. What's astonishing is the joyful shock and awe of transported audiences, from French movie houses to Manhattan screening rooms. Now Playing

PEOPLE I KNOW: Al Pacino, Kim Basinger, Ryan O’Neal, Tea Leoni, Richard Schiff, Bill Nunn, Robert Klein, Mark Webber (Directed by Dan Algrant; Miramax) Completed just before 9/11, this ill-timed, deeply pessimistic melodrama is said to be a scathing indictment of New York politicians, celebrities, and bold-face wheeler-dealers. It’s been rumored that the manic, druggy, unscrupulous showbiz publicist played by Al Pacino is modeled on Bobby Zarem, the dynamo who, years ago, dreamed up the "I Love New York" campaign. Say it ain’t so, Bobby. (To read Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Al Pacino, click here. And click here to read Flatley's 1977 interview with Ryan O'Neal.) Now Playing To read Guy Flatley's review, click here.

CITY OF GHOSTS: Matt Dillon, James Caan, Stellan Skarsgard, Natascha McElhone, Gerard Depardieu, Rose Byrne, Barbara Christie, Leo Fitzpatrick (Directed by Matt Dillon; MGM/UA) Over a period of 23 years, the indecently handsome Dillon has established himself as a solid, if not exactly mega, star in films ranging from "Over the Edge" to "Tex," "The Flamingo Kid," "Drugstore Cowboy," "To Die For" and "There's Something About Mary." Now he makes the jump to movie director with this thriller in which he plays a shady character on the lam from the law. Hiding out in Cambodia (where the film was shot), he hooks up with a suitably dangerous crowd. Now Playing

CONFIDENCE: Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, Rachel Weisz, Paul Giamatti, MorrisChestnut, Luiz Guzman, Donal Logue, Robert Forster, Robert Loggia, Elysia Skye, Franky G., Brian Van Holt, Tom "Tiny"Lister Jr. (Directed by James Foley; Lions Gate) Director James Foley's talent for turning mean, nasty material into gripping entertainment--as evidenced by "At Close Range" and "After Dark, My Sweet"--should come in handy on this tough tale of a con artist (Edward Burns) who tries to chisel the accountant of a notably cruel crime lord (Dustin Hoffman). Could this be the movie that resurrects Edward Burns' career? Now Playing

IDENTITY: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, Rebecca De Mornay, John C. McGinley, John Hawkes, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey (Directed by James Mangold; Sony) Ten strangers take shelter from a sandstorm in a spooky motel. One of the group meets a mysterious death. Then another, and another, and another. Will there be even one survivor? We don't know if screenwriter Michael Cooney ever saw "And Then There Were None," Rene Clair's splendid 1945 adaptation of an Agatha Christie thriller starring Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston and Judith Anderson, but isn't this scenario beginning to sound a bit familiar? Now Playing

HOUSE OF FOOLS: Julia Vysotsky, A. Kalyagin, Bryan Adams (Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky; Paramount Classics) Set in a psychiatric hospital on the Russian/Chechnya border in 1996, this war-rocked drama focuses on the potentially romantic relationship between an hallucinatory, accordion-playing Chechen patient and a Russian soldier. Director Konchalovsky is the mad Russian responsible for the over-the-top but oddly exhilarating "Runaway Train" and "Maria's Lovers," so who knows what to expect? Now Playing

IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Michael Douglas, Bernadette Peters, Kirk Douglas, Cameron Douglas, Diana Douglas, Rory Culkin, Sarita Choudhury (Directed by Fred Schepisi; MGM/UA) Michael Douglas plays an emotionally conflicted man whose father (Kirk Douglas) copes with the aftermath of a stroke and whose druggy son (Cameron Douglas) stuggles to be a top DJ. Any more members of the Douglas clan on display in this allegedly fictional film? Only Diana Douglas, once the wife of Kirk and still the mother of Michael and grandmother of Cameron. You've gotta root for this one. Now Playing

MANIC: Joseh Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Bacall, Don Cheadle (Directed by Jordan Melamed; IFC Films) A testy teenager ("3rd Rock From the Sun's" Gordon-Levitt), festering with hostility, severely injures a classmate and, as a result, is incarcerated with other maladjusted juveniles for the purpose of rehabilitation. That's when a shrink who happens to be a perhaps-cured drug addict (Don Cheadle) enters the picture and, one would imagine, saves the day. Now Playing