Page 3 of 5
CRUSH (R) In this British comedy from first-timer John McKay, Andie MacDowell as a prim prep school headmistress conveys great warmth in her moving portrait of a woman whose happiness is threatened by a conformist society and jealous friends. But Crush at its heart is yet another retrograde story of complaining, miserable singletons (this time in their 40s) who deeply resent their friend MacDowell's giddy romance with a much younger man. --FF
DEATH TO SMOOCHY (R) Danny DeVito's acrimonious satire compromises its own welcome venality by inserting sentimental components where none are needed. Robin Williams' corrupt children's host is replaced by Edward Norton's purple rhino named Smoochy, whose integrity is undermined by network avarice and Williams' madness. The well-acted comedy wallows in the mire of human folly, but the final act undermines its outrageousness.--MB
E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY (PG) Steven Spielberg's tale of a boy and his alien is no children's movie, but a lovely evocation of the experience of childlike wonder. The anniversary re-release includes spruced-up sound and special effects, a deleted scene or two and some disquieting alterations in the name of political correctness, like the digital replacement of guns with walkie-talkies.--CH
FOR DA LUV OF MONEY (R) With one of those one-word names like "Madonna" or "Sauron," the actor Pierre plays a cash-strapped guy who becomes wildly popular when money from a robbery is stashed in his back yard. Aimed at fans of Friday, the low-budget comedy's biggest stars are ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester.
40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS (R) For Josh Hartnett delivers a surprisingly adept comic turn as a web page designer who abstains from all sexual pleasures to forget about his icy girlfriend. A few modest laughs and an imaginative sex scene can be found amid the usual condom/Viagra/erection gags, but the film goes limp during the disappointing climax (no puns intended) .--MB
FRAILTY (R) Bill Paxton (Apollo 13, A Simple Plan) stars and directs in this unusual thriller about a small-town Texas father who believes he's been called by God to kill demons. Featuring elements of Southern gothic, Bible allegory and even black comedy, the script builds to some clever twists but still feels drawn-out, as if it could be cut to fit a one-hour "X-Files" slot without suffering.--CH
HARRISON'S FLOWERS (R) Following on the heels of No Man's Land comes this hard-hitting drama that doesn't shy away from showing the atrocities committed under the tag of "ethnic cleansing." When a photojournalist (David Strathairn) is presumed dead in Yugoslavia's civil war, his wife (Andie MacDowell) enters the fray herself. The film may not match the wallop of The Killing Fields, but writer-director Elie Chouraqui keeps things as real as possible.--MB
HIGH CRIMES (PG-13) It's a high crime indeed that the once-exciting Ashley Judd now delivers the same spunky-woman-in-peril job in studio-sanctioned programmers like this. It's a shame that Morgan Freeman isn't finding more roles better suited to his awesome abilities. And it's a shame that, in the age of mind-benders like Memento, we're still force-fed reheated pulp more adept at creating massive plotholes than any semblance of suspense. --MB
HUMAN NATURE (R) Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) returns with this half-baked comedy about an abnormally hirsute woman (Patricia Arquette) whose relationship with a repressed behaviorist (Tim Robbins) takes a radical spin once they come into contact with a wild man (a game Rhys Ifans) who's been raised since infancy by apes. It has its inspired moments, but when it's bad -- which is most of the time -- it's intolerable. --MB
ICE AGE (PG) Ray Romano's sensible woolly mammoth, Denis Leary's duplicitous saber-toothed tiger and John Leguizamo's imbecilic sloth are unique enough for us to pardon the pedestrian plot of this computer-animated film that's like Disney's Dinosaur without the mountainous sentimentality. The prehistoric squirrel Scrat is such a character that you're sorry every time he leaves the screen.-- MB
IMAX Majestic White Horses (Not Rated) The pomp, history and legend of the famous Lipizzan horses of Austria and the Spanish Riding School of Vienna gets the really big screen treatment. Through May 23. Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa (Not Rated) Everest director David Breashears' latest IMAX documentary follows an expedition through five distinct climate zones to the top of Africa's highest point. Through September 20. Fernbank Museum of Natural History IMAX Theater, 767 Clifton Road.
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
--freelance copy editor, available for hire
I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…