Films Review March

6TH DAY, THE (PG-13)

Here we go again.
Yet another movie that looks and sounds like it was written by people whose only real life experience are the films they saw growing up. What emerges is a film that looks and sounds like a lot of other films, which is ironic considering the film’s theme. 6th daySometime in the near future, a sinister company that legally clones household pets is also illegally cloning humans. They make a big mistake when they clone family man Arnold Schwarzenegger, who arrives home one night to find his wife in the arms of another man, himself. It’s a scary notion, being cloned without your knowledge or permission. Too bad the writers and director of “The 6th Day” couldn’t do more with it than the obvious. What could and should have been an exciting thriller falls on its face due to lackluster direction and a script that was cloned from numerous, much better films. Click on title for complete review. (Columbia-TriStar)

ALMOST FAMOUS (R)almostfamousphoto.JPG (219908 bytes)

The heart of rock and roll is still beating in writer-director Cameron Crowe’s affectionate, knowing nostalgic nod to his teenage years as a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. Anyone who was old enough and conscious to appreciate the early 1970s will totally fall in love with Crowe’s glorious Valentine to rock and roll. This film couldn’t have come from someone who wasn’t there. His observations are so passionate you feel like you’ve been transported back to 1973. It was a time when rock and roll was losing its edge and pop was becoming the mainstay of Casey Kasem’s Top 40. Love was still free, and free of deadly diseases, while the nation was greeting the end of the Vietnam War with apathy and anger. It was a wild and crazy time, a most unlikely playground for a 15 year old high school student to make a name for himself. Crowe’s “Almost Famous” is largely autobiographical, celebrating the days when he duped Rolling Stone Magazine into sending him on the road with the Allman Brothers, completely unaware that they were dealing with a savvy fifteen year old kid. Click on title for complete review. (DreamWorks)


In what can only be described as an attempt at counter-programming, August has seen not one but three films featuring mature actors and plot lines. What would normally be a welcome relief from the usual drudge that oozes across theater screens throughout the summer is actually an embarrassment of riches. Maybe Hollywood finally got fed up with the trite teen trash that filters through their release schedules every year, and decided to embrace older film goers, providing them with something more substantial than naked cheerleaders and babe bartenders. Maybe Hollywood has become so desperate to appeal to the “Murder She Wrote” demographic that they are willing to do anything to wangle away their hard earned Social Security checks. Whatever the reason, the season of the geezer is upon us, and Hollywood should be ashamed of itself. Click on title for complete review. (Touchstone)


Originally shot as the pilot for a television series, “Cruel Intentions 2” contains some of the adult trappings of the original, but the results are only so-so. The roguish Sebastian reunites with his stepsister Kathryn at their new prep school, where Sebastian decides to change his ways and become a one woman man. He sets his sites on Danielle, the pretty, young daughter of the headmaster. It looks like true love has finally found Sebastian, but not if Kathryn can help it. Once again she schemes to make her stepbrother’s life a wicked game of lies and seduction. Fresh young faces stand-in for the film’s pricier stars, and while they live up to the material, the material does not live up to the original. (Columbia-TriStar)


Jude Law sucks in this chilling thriller, but that’s a good thing. He plays a handsome, worldly man who suffers from a rare disease that forces him to become a vampire-like serial killer. He needs blood to rejuvenate, and with his good looks, money and education has no problem attracting victims. Then he meets Anna (Elina Lowensohn), a woman of uncommon strength and capable of taking care of herself. But will she be strong enough to keep Law away? You’ll be surprised in director Po-Chih Leong’s haunting film noir that features excellent performances and unsettling images. Law is honestly creepy as a man who just can’t help himself, while Lowensohn shows guts and determination as an engineer with designs of her own. A real, unexpected treat. (Miramax)

MACH 2 (R)

Stock characters find themselves trapped on a hijacked Concorde, their only hope an Air Force Captain played by Brian Bosworth. As made-for-television fair this is okay, but it’s not really a movie-movie. It’s so top heavy with cliches and bad dialogue you wonder why it doesn’t just crash and burn. Fans of air disaster movies will best appreciate this effort. (Paramount)


Haunting drama about a man who has just lost his lover, and finds himself looking for meaning in his life. Dan Futterman is riveting as Charlie, whose boyfriend Chris (Matt Keeslar) has disappeared from his life. We’re not sure if Chris is alive or dead, but we do know that Charlie’s grief has taken control of his life. Charlie pins his hopes for recovery on a stranger he spots on evening, and spends the rest of the film looking for him. Charlie’s quest brings him into contact with a number of odd and kinky strangers and friends, all of whom have some sort of connection to him. Director Jon Shear, who co-wrote the creepy and ambiguous screenplay with Daniel Reitz, always keeps us guessing. Is Charlie’s life a living urban legend, or is he dreaming? Filled with sexual electricity and a wonderful cast, “Urbania” is a treat for anyone looking for something off the beaten path. (Trimark)




ROSIE (NR/New Yorker)


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