The boys are back in town. Actually, they're in several European towns this time--Amsterdam, Rome, the shores of Lake Como--all because nasty Vegas entrepreneur Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the man from whom they stole $160 million in "Ocean's Eleven," has tracked them down and is demanding full repayment, with interest.
Mike Nichols's "Closer," based on the acerbic 1997 play by Patrick Marber, brings the battle of the sexes into the brave new world of cybersex. One pair of the story's heterosexual London quartet--a dermatologist named Larry (Clive Owen) and the divorced photographer Anna (Julia Roberts) meet because Larry thinks she has summoned him to a rendezvous after a salacious chat.
How do you make a movie, in 2004, about a man who wants to conquer the world? That question hangs uneasily over Oliver Stone's three-hour epic about Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king who, by the age of 25, dominated the greater part of the known world, lording it over an empire that stretched from Greece to India.
Shark TaleDirected by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron and Rob LettermanNot up to "Shrek" level, but a feast for the eyes, DreamWorks' computer-animated underwater adventure is crammed to the gills with pop-culture in-jokes, movie quotations and a stellar vocal cast including Robert De Niro and Renee Zellweger.
She's no mere social climber," a character observes of Becky Sharp in Mira Nair's sumptuous condensation of "Vanity Fair." "She's a mountaineer." Scheming, beautiful, seductive and utterly self-serving, Becky--played with great verve and an impeccable English accent by Reese Witherspoon--is one of the most vivacious monsters in 19th-century literature.
If talk radio and Fox TV are the preferred media of the right, film has emerged this year as the left's not-so-secret weapon. There's never been an election in which political documentaries played a significant role--until now.Michael Moore's incendiary "Fahrenheit 9/11" packed movie houses, but most of these new documentaries are meant for home viewing; theatrical distribution is just the icing on the cake.
"She's no mere social climber," a character observes of Becky Sharp in Mira Nair's sumptuous condensation of "Vanity Fair." "She's a mountaineer." Scheming, beautiful, seductive and utterly self-serving, Becky--played with great verve and an impeccable English accent by Reese Witherspoon--is one of the most vivacious monsters in 19th-century literature.
In "She Hate Me," Jack Armstrong (Anthony Mackie), a VP at a pharmaceutical company, is fired after he blows the whistle on his corrupt bosses. Jobless, he accepts an offer from ex-fiancee turned lesbian Fatima (Kerry Washington) to impregnate her and her girlfriend Alex (Dania Ramirez).
Director M. Night Shyamalan has made a fine career out of delayed gratification. In "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," "Signs" and his newest sleight of hand, "The Village," he stirs his pot of suspense with slow, steady strokes, keeping the flame low, gambling that audiences weaned on microwave-fast filmmaking can still savor a simmering narrative--and trusting in himself to deliver a full-boil payoff.In "The Village," the deliberate, dialogue-driven Shyamalan style gets transported to a...
Zatoichi Directed by Takeshi KitanoThe blind (and blond) swordsman Zatoichi is as legendary a character to Japanese audiences as James Bond is to us. The stone-faced writer-director-star "Beat" Takeshi, a legend himself, resurrects this icon with characteristically quirky zest.
"If you're sad and like beer, I'm your lady," purrs Isabella Rossellini as Lady Port-Huntley, a flamboyant Winnipeg beer baroness, double amputee and sponsor of a global competition to determine which country has the world's most melancholy music. "The Saddest Music in the World," which is set in a snowbound, studio-created Winnipeg in the depths of the Great Depression, is itself anything but sad.
To the delight of some and the disappointment of others, "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" was essentially one show-stopping fight scene after another, as the revenge-minded Bride (Uma Thurman) eliminated the first two members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, not to mention countless guilty bystanders.