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BRING IT ON (PG-13) ** 1/2 For a long while it's hard to tell whether this is a seriously comic look at high school cheerleaders or a tongue-in-cheek satire of teen flicks, and by the time it turns relatively serious you'll be caught up in the story and you won't care. Kirsten Dunst leads the all-white San Diego squad and Gabrielle Union is her inner-city counterpart in the face-off at the national finals. Eliza Dushku and Jesse Bradford bring LA attitude and romance to the (California) Southland. -- SW
THE CELL (R) ** The director of the "Losing My Religion" video offers a psychotropic serial killer thriller in which the mind of a murderer looks like an evening of MTV's "120 Minutes." When Jennifer Lopez makes a mental interface with deranged Vincent D'Onofrio, the film yields plenty of voluptuous, nightmarish images, which ultimately amount to no more than window-dressing to a high-tech knock-off of The Silence of the Lambs. -- CH
CHICKEN RUN (G) ***1/2 World War II POW flicks like The Great Escape are re-imagined with plucky poultry trying to break out of an English chicken farm. Compared to the brilliant whimsy of the creators' Oscar-winning "Wallace and Gromit" shorts, Chicken Run is a more conventional cartoon feature, but it still offers inspired sight gags and exciting action scenes by the dozen. -- CH
COYOTE UGLY (PG-13) *** Producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings his Midas touch to this crowd-pleaser about a pretty Jersey girl who moves to Manhattan to pursue her songwriting career but becomes sidetracked by her glamorous, sexy job as a dancing babe bartender at the rollicking Coyote Ugly bar. Expect the expected and you won't be disappointed by the mindless fun of this Hollywood guilty pleasure. -- FF
THE CREW (PG-13) ** 1/2 Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel play lovable OldFellas who inadvertently trigger a mob war when they pretend to be back in business to save their South Beach retirement hotel from the trendoids. The visual motif of this sitcommy chucklefest is built around Jennifer Tilly's breasts. -- SW
CROUPIER *** This look at a would-be novelist's venture into the seamy aspects of a London casino reveals fascinating details of gambling and has a crisp, efficient directing style. But though Clive Owen, in the title role, is meant to be detached and voyeuristic, the twists at the end muddy the precedings rather than illuminate them. Alex Kingston affirms her acting potential as a quirky and enigmatic high roller. -- CH
DISNEY'S THE KID (PG) ** 1/2 As a 40-year-old image consultant visited by his eight-year-old self (Spencer Breslin), Bruce Willis is a true movie star in a wide-ranging role that affords him some of his broadest comedy as well as tender and romantic moments. The film is funny for most of its length but gets overly sentimental toward the end - a predilection of director Jon Turteltaub, whom I suspect of being Penny Marshall in drag -- and is exceptionally well acted by Willis and Breslin, Emily Mortimer, Lily Tomlin, Jean Smart, Dana Ivey, etc. -- SW
DUETS (R) ** Character actor Bruce Paltrow directs his Oscar-winning daughter Gwyneth in an odd dramedy about three couples on a cross-country collision course at a karaoke contest. The film is never as revealing about "karaoke kulture" as you might expect, but it's probably wise to emphasize the mismatched buddies of burnt-out businessman Paul Giamatti and ex-con Andre Braugher (the only one of the leads who doesn't do own singing). -- CH
GODZILLA 2000 (PG-13) The Japanese village of Shinjuku gets a wake-up call from an alien lifeform that goes head-to-head with an angry, 180-foot lizard. The future of humanity hangs in the balance as the two leviathans have at it.
HIGHLANDER: ENDGAME (R) * 1/2 Like a TV series clip episode, Endgame jumps around in time and place to try to resolve conflicting mythologies of the movie and TV Highlanders - including retroactively inventing previous meetings between the immortal brothers MacLeod, television's Duncan (Adrian Paul) and the movies' Connor (Christopher Lambert). If you've never seen a "Highlander" don't start now. If you have, you may understand why one MacLeod has to die for their combined energy to defeat their immortal enemy, Jacob Kell (Bruce Payne). After the summer movies, it will take better stunts and effects than this production can muster to impress you. -- SW
HOLLOW MAN (R) ** Four-star special effects can't save the latest letdown from the man who gave us Showgirls. Kevin Bacon plays a scientist turned now-you-see-him-now-you-don't sociopath who uses his miraculous invisibility mostly to sexually harass his co-workers, then switches to serial murder. This ugly, adolescent thriller might have worked as a satire if the plot devices and cliches weren't as transparent as the protagonist. -- EM
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
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