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DOWN TO EARTH Though he's given strong supporting performances, Chris is not yet the Rock on which to build a movie. In this remake of Heaven Can Wait he plays a would-be comic who's called up to heaven prematurely and sent back in the body of a rich white man. There are a few good lines and moments, but it feels overall like a mediocre sketch comedy. A Chris Rock concert movie would have been far more entertaining. I thought the Warren Beatty version was overrated, so as much as I like Rock, I can't work up much enthusiasm for an inferior remake. -- SW
DRIVEN 1/2 More like Drivel. With rare exception, the mini-genre of race car flicks has always been a disreputable one. But if there's anyone who could make a racing movie that at least qualifies as a guilty pleasure, it would be director Renny Harlin, since even his trashy films are presented with a certain degree of style and chutzpah. But Harlin hits the wall with Driven, which is so banal and preposterous that not even his constantly roving camera can disguise the bankruptcy of the project. Sylvester Stallone, who wrote the original story handles the tried & true "veteran" role: He's cast as Joe Tanto, a former racing star who's coaxed out of retirement by crotchety car owner Carl Henry (Burt Reynolds) to provide guidance to Jimmy Bly (Kip Pardue), a rookie sensation who's in a dead-heat battle for the season championship with ice-cold defending champ Beau Brandenburg (Til Schweiger). The story itself is packed with too many needless characters, fetid dialogue and ludicrous developments. --MATT BRUNSON
ENEMY AT THE GATES (R) 1/2 The 1942-43 Battle for Stalingrad boils down to a duel between two men, Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) and Major Konig (Ed Harris), the top snipers for the Russians and Germans respectively, in Jean-Jacques Annaud's epic that looks great but isn't always as suspenseful or dramatically effective as it might be. The big battle sequence at the beginning invites comparison to Saving Private Ryan and suffers from that comparison. Mad magazine readers will appreciate a hint of "Spy vs. Spy" in this story of "Sniper vs. Sniper," while historians may consider it an example of reductio ad absurdam. -- SW
EXIT WOUNDS (R) 1/2 Steven Seagal, back down to fighting weight, regains action star viability as a maverick Detroit cop who becomes a one-man Internal Affairs Dept. DMX, whose charismatic presence could be exploited by a stronger director, plays a new jack druglord/dotcomillionaire. Car chases, fights and shootouts are mostly quick cuts suggesting fast motion and mucho destruction, but there have been far worse action sequences in far worse movies. Comic relief comes from Tom Arnold and Anthony Anderson, whose final routine suggests the birth of a new comedy team. They deserve an encore, while once is enough for the rest of the movie. -- SW
15 MINUTES Larger-than-life characters, largely unmotivated acts of atrocity and a total disregard for dramatic continuity propel this disorganized and densely packed police thriller/would-be media satire about a green arson investigator and a celebrity homicide cop (Robert De Niro) on the trail of a pair of brutal and unusually image-conscious Eastern European thugs. Like a bigger, stiffer Two Days in the Valley(also by writer/director John Herzfeld), but without the neat cat-fight between Teri Hatcher and Charlize Theron. Why bother? -- EDDY VON MUELLER
FREDDY GOT FINGERED (R) Tom Green plays slacker Gordon Brody, a 28-year-old wanna-be animator who still lives with his parents. Brody battles his frustrated father (Rip Torn), whose only wish is for his son to move out and get a job, falls in love with a wheelchair-bound rocket scientist and plays with wildlife.
HANNIBAL (R) The sequel to The Silence of the Lambs substitutes a well-cast Julianne Moore for Jodie Foster, but more problematically offers director Ridley Scott's baroque gloss for Jonathan Demme's solid sobriety. The results can border on camp, especially when the eerie Anthony Hopkins bites into culinary puns, but the well-crafted cat-and-mouse scenes keep the suspense at a delicious simmer. -- CH
HEARTBREAKERS (PG-13) 1/2 Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play mother-daughter con artists in this overlong, overly broad comedy. Weaver gets a rich sucker to wed her, then catches Hewitt seducing him and scores a quick, lucrative divorce. Hewitt wants to be independent but mama says she's not ready yet. When Weaver targets billionaire cigarette mogul Gene Hackman, Hewitt secretly goes after bar owner Jason Lee and, true to mother's warnings, mixes pleasure with business. -- SW
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