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Short subjectives 

Capsule reviews of films by CL critics

Page 3 of 6

THE KID (PG) Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis)is a 40-year-old image consultant who bends the space-time continuum when he's given the chance to meet himself at age eight in Disney's latest celluloid venture.

Amy Heckerling's uncredited remake of The Apartment owes a lot to its teen leads, Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, because no matter how incredible things the script has them do, they look cute doing them. He's a Midwesterner on scholarship to a New York college, used as a doormat by an unholy trio of roommates; she's more worldly but exploited sexually by lit professor Greg Kinnear. They have to wind up together because they're the only nice people on the Planet of the Assholes. -- SW

In working class West Belfast, young Danny (William Ash) dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. Thinking the way to improve his game is to get rhythm, Danny takes up samba lessons, which take him out of his element and into upper class Belfast. Once there, he falls in love with Lucy (Keri Russel), a spoiled daddy's girl who wants to prove she can make it on her own by winning the Regional Latin Dance Finals. Each with something to prove, Danny and Lucy draw and repel each other like human-sized magnets and make for sweet eye candy as lovers from opposite sides of the tracks. -- KL

Jim Carrey only plays two of the three title roles -- two personalities of a Rhode Island State Trooper -- in the comedy that reunites him with filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly. There's all the outrageous humor you expect, and more -- too much more; the editors should have tightened it considerably. Anthony Anderson, Mongo Brownlee and Jerod Mixon, who play Carrey's black teenage sons, can spin off into a franchise if they want to continue as a team. A movie by the Farrellys isn't over until it's over, so stay in your seat through the closing credits. -- SW

John Woo's grand opera ballet of stylized violence, redemptive revenge and heroic love features Tom Cruise as special agent Ethan Hunt, who must recruit a lovely jewel thief (Thandie Newton) to prevent Ambrose Pierce (Dougray Scott) from taking over the world by controlling the antidote to a genetically engineered germ. Mission: Impossible 2 has all the makings of a thrilling and aesthetically seamlesscartoon strip but for one critical element: suspense. -- KL

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (PG-13)
Eddie Murphy adds to the shortage of African-American movie roles by playing half the cast in the frantic, sporadically funny follow-up. Rotund Sherman Klump remains Murphy's most endearing comic creation, but the story's sci-fi conceits are more contrived, while the coarse jokes prove more cruel and scattershot. -- CH

Painstakingly rendered for IMAX by Russia's Alexander Petrov, 29,000 slides convey the essence of Hemingway's novel about a Cuban fisherman and a marlin, the catch of his life, in 22 minutes. The film precedes a crash course in the author's life and work, Hemingway: A Portrait, an equally brilliant piece by Erik Canuel that's even shorter but, thanks to the director's commercial background, gets everything in. Weekends at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. -- SW

It's Braveheart in buckskin as Mel Gibson fights the English again in an epic war drama whose individual moments are as predictable as the outcome of the American Revolution. I didn't like it and don't recommend it unless you like unabashed flag-waving -- the twin flags of the USA and family values -- but I must concede it's well made. The hypocrisy is amazing as Mel's South Carolina farmer spouts anti-war sentiments when he's not hacking men to bits with his hatchet. It's interesting, though hardly believable, to see how African Americans are worked into the story. -- SW

The movie may not be perfect, but the storm sequence sure is, with the special effects offering a terrifyingly realistic treatment of a tempest at sea. Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen credibly captures the lives of six ill-fated fishermen, but the film proves flat and unengaging until the weather starts getting rough, and it becomes the cinematic equivalent of a ride like "Splash Mountain." -- CH

As TV ratings dwindle, Warner Bros. plays off the Japanese features. This one follows the pattern: an innocuous short, Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, leads into the main event, The Power of One, which is far less violent than last year's Mewtwo Strikes Back. Most of the action involves creatures battling the elements, rather than each other, as Ash foils a Pokemon collector (with a cool, Jules Verne-ian flying machine) whose acquisitiveness upsets the balance of nature. The climax is too long, the anti-climax still longer. Blame lowered expectations, but I enjoyed it considerably more than Pokemon the First Movie. -- SW

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