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  • Girl Interrupted

*Anna and the King (PG-13)

Unlike the 1956 Rogers & Hammerstein musical, this retelling of Anna Leonowen's (Jodie Foster) story is rather serious in its treatment of the relationships between Asia and the British during the age of British expansion. Jodie Foster's work is subtle and well informed. Acting opposite Chow Yun-Fat (playing King Mongkut) must have been a great pleasure, for the man is not only easy on the eyes but has a wonderful command of facial expression that underscores the trials of an intelligent, regal ruler struggling to keep his country out of the hands of foreign domination. Go to be captivated by the kind of spectacle that Hollywood alone can create, the organizational and visual feats of lush scenery, beautiful costuming, and good special effects, and you won't be disappointed. -- AL

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Academy Station 6

*American Beauty (R)

American Beauty proves, once again, that you don't have to have a new plot to make a fresh story. Instead, a strong visual style, fabulous acting, and quirky writing can all conspire to create an erotic, humorous, captivating film. Kevin Spacey is given a funny, dry script by screenwriter Alan Ball and uses it confidently, moving between bumbling idiot, threatening asshole, and tender father with ease; Annette Bening perfectly captures the manic acquisitiveness and just-below-the-surface despair of professional-class America with a physical, comedic presence that most actresses would never dare attempt; Wes Bentley portrays the disturbed boy next door with a quiet gravity that intensifies every scene he graces. First-time film director Sam Mendes has done a remarkable job of learning the vocabulary of filmmaking and using it to create a multilayered visual and psychological delight. See full review. -- AL

Tiffany Square

Bringing Out the Dead (R)

Martin Scorsese's latest collaboration with screenwriter Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Last Temptation of Christ) is frequently repetitive and feels far longer than it actually is. Nicolas Cage plays Frank -- a burned out paramedic who is haunted by the lives he has lost -- with his usual smouldering despair and rage. He's very good, but how many times now have we seen him do the furrowed brow thing? It's distracting to watch him in this role, because we know exactly how he'll play each scene, even before we've seen it in its entirety. The film succeeds best when Scorsese cuts loose with the camera, and we are allowed to escape the repetition of the inside-the-ambulance scenes. Mainly, it just feels like Martin Scorsese is using his trademark tricks, including his visual genius, to tell a story that fails to rouse the viewer. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*Cider House Rules (PG-13)

See full review.

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigalo (R)

Why anyone would want to make this into a movie is a mystery. "Lighten up," the proponents of this film have said. "It's only comedy." Yes, well, comedy is funny, little boy, and Deuce Bigalow ain't. -- AL

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown

Double Jeopardy (R)

Despite an excellent cast and clever premise, Double Jeopardy is plagued with problems. In the first place, a thriller requires suspense, and in this case, all mystery has been erased by an ambitious pre-release advertising campaign that gave away the basic plot of the film. All you really need to know is that seeing the film is not nearly as intriguing as watching the trailer. Ashley Judd is tough, fierce and intelligent as the wronged mother and wife, but her grit and good looks are wasted in an otherwise predictable, formulaic script. Tommy Lee Jones as her parole officer merely tags along. Gorgeous location shots of Vancouver and New Orleans provide momentary visual distractions but add little to the drama, and sloppy sound editing detracts throughout. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

End of Days (R)

End of Days is a dreary, exploitative action film in which it's devil time again. The plot has The Dark One (Gabriel Byrne) seeking out a 20-year-old virgin named, of course, Christine (Robin Tunney) who has been predestined to bear the devil a son. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays ex-cop Jericho Cane, who takes it upon himself to protect Christine both from The Man. Director Peter Hyams does nothing to brighten up or energize screenwriter Andrew Marlowe's dull, confusing script. The message that End of Days is supposed to carry is that faith is more powerful than guns. But it's unlikely the message will be heard over all the automatic weapons fire. -- Noel Murray

Carmike 10

*The Green Mile (R)

At three hours and ten minutes long, this is one marathon of a movie, and unnecessarily so. The charming story is fairly straightforward and tightly plotted, and a relatively small ensemble of characters fill most of the scenes. The story, based on Stephen King's 1996 serial novel, is oddly compelling: A death row prison guard in the mid-1930's deep south, Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is delivered a 7-foot tall, black, simple-minded inmate with an amazing ability (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted for murder. Duncan's characterization, though spare, is powerful. And Hanks, as Edgecomb, is his usual measured, affable self -- the soul of fairness. The villains are suitably evil, especially Doug Hutchison as deputy guard Percy Wetmore.The Green Mile is a worthy exploration of good and evil, human suffering, the cold inevitability of death and the redeeming power of love. But because the strength lies in the simple nature of the story, the earthy vernacular and the colorful characters, the director's tired dramatic approach feels like little more than excessive padding. -- KCE

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Academy Station 6

*Magnolia (R)

See full review, page 41

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

*Man on the Moon (R)

This strange and ultimately affecting movie is the rather perfunctorily told tale of comic Andy Kaufman's short, brilliant career and short, bizarre life. In the hands of director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The People vs. Larry Flynt) Kaufman is treated as a rare genius who was misunderstood. It is fitting that Kaufman be played by Jim Carrey, the great gagster of his generation. Carrey's depiction is physically uncanny -- he perfectly captures Kaufman's googly eyes and frumpy posture, and mimics precisely many of Kaufman's best-known skits. But the writing and direction of Man on the Moon is pedestrian. Except for a lame attempt at a fake-out in the opening sequence, the story is told as straight screen biography. Backstage scenes are provided to offer us insight into Kaufman's motivation, but they feel like props for the narrative more than glimpses into the man. See it for Carrey's terrific impersonation, and for the moments on screen when, even if just for a brief moment, you can feel Kaufman's inexplicable spirit leaking through. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

*Sleepy Hollow (R)

In Director Tim Burton's hands, the tiny Hudson river valley town of Sleepy Hollow becomes a mythical place where gnarled trees silhouetted against a foggy background speak volumes. Johnny Depp brings a humorous finickiness to the character of Ichabod Crane. He is prissy, prim and immaculate, and he doesn't take well to the sight of gore. But Crane's transformation to action hero is palatable too -- Depp moves from prude to swashbuckler with real movie star grace and charisma. And the horseman himself -- massive and shrouded in black -- proves to be a striking central focus of the film, despite his missing head. Burton revels in special effect, and his wild creation, the tree of the dead, is a memorable cinematic marvel. This Sleepy Hollow will, no doubt, prove to be a Halloween video classic. -- KCE

Chapel Hills

Snow Falling on Cedars (PG-13)

See full review, page 41

Kimball's Twin Peak; Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Academy Station 6; Tiffany Square

Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (PG)

Little kids will no doubt love it, but adults hoping to relive the spiritual uplift that was the Star Wars experience of their youth will inevitably be disappointed with The Phantom Menace. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor as Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi knight, and his apprentice Obi-Won Kenobi are numbingly cool from the start of the film. The entire film, unlike its predecessors, is devoid of enthusiasm for the cause and completely lacking in dramatic tension. The big computer animated battles are terrific, but you might as well be watching Antz or A Bugs Life. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*The Talented Mr. Ripley (R)

Anthony Minghella meticulously recreates the feel of the 1950s jazz era in Italy where everyone loves anything American. Matt Damon delivers a fine, nuanced performance that grows on the viewer. As Tom Ripley, a deeply disturbed young man who longs to be someone other than himself, Damon moves from fumbling geek to smooth expatriate with boyish intensity and dark charm. Brit Jude Law is a revelation as Dickie Greenleaf, object of Ripley's lustful admiration, a rich American kid who spends his days soaking up the sun and his nights in smoky jazz clubs. Glowing cinematography, a rich musical soundtrack, well-rounded characters, a literate narrative and nail-biting suspense are combined by Minghella to produce one of the richest, old-fashioned in the best sense of the word, films out of Hollywood this year. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Citadel Terrace

*Three Kings (R)

Bold, adventurous and in-your-face. Director-writer David O. Russell (Spanking the Monkey) has penned a tight, provocative script that combines some of the best elements of a good war film with heavy doses of contemporary social commentary. George Clooney plays Special Forces Captain Archie Gates, cynical, worn-out and two weeks from retirement. Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube play reservists with dead-end jobs back home, called up for the Gulf War. Spike Jonze is Private Conrad Vig, an overgrown juvenile delinquent from Texas who alternates between a sort of lovable stupidity and delirious combat lust. Dwelling on the crass, commerciality of the Gulf War and the narrow perception at home of the damage wrought to Iraqi citizens by our carpet bombing and premature pullout there, Three Kings disturbed me all over again, and comforted me in an odd way. I couldn't help hoping George Bush gets a chance to see it. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*Toy Story 2 (G)

Toy Story 2 manages to construct even wilder gags, and to stretch even further the idea of the secret life of toys than the first, but it also leaves an even more bittersweet aftertaste. At its most heart-wrenching, this chipper cartoon is also a parent's stricken fantasy of being outgrown by their children. In Toy Story 2, Woody discovers that he was once part of a matched set with a wonder horse, a cowgirl named Jessie (voiced ideally by Joan Cusack), and a grizzled prospector sidekick. When the reunited set goes up for sale, Woody is faced with a toy's version of an existential crisis -- either be enshrined behind glass for eternity in a museum display, or enjoy what few years he has left with owner Andy before the boy outgrows him. As hilarious as the slapstick rescue efforts of Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Mr. Potatohead (Don Rickles), and Woody's old pals are, it's the former scenes that give Toy Story 2 it's poignancy. The mix of silliness, affection, and piercing nostalgia -- and yes, artistry -- keeps kids and adults engaged simultaneously. -- Jim Ridley

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Citadel Terrace

*The World is Not Enough (R)

Pierce Brosnan can do no wrong. He gleams with all the requisite savoir-faire and charisma that James Bond demands. Robert Carlyle does a brilliant turn as the ruthless terrorist Renard. Michael Apted, best known for his fantastic 7 Up documentary film series and Coal Miner's Daughter, more than hits his directorial marks.The World Is Not Enough is, pound for explosion, a great return on your entertainment dollar. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Citadel Terrace

OPENING THIS WEEK

Girl, Interrupted (R)

In 1967 Susanna (Winona Ryder) is diagnosed with a vague mental disorder, and sent to spend the next two years in the girls ward of a psychiatric hospital. There she learns that sometimes you have go a little crazy to be sane. With Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Redgrave, and Clea Duvall. Directed by James Mangold.See full review.

Tinseltown; Kimball's Twin Peak; Carmike 10; Tiffany Square

The Hurricane (R)

Denzel Washington plays Ruben "the Hurricane" Carter, a boxer on his way to becoming middleweight world champion when he was wrongly convicted of a 1966 triple murder and sentenced to life in prison. Directed by Norman Jewison.

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Academy Station 6; Tiffany Square

Supernova (PG-13)

Angela Bassett, James Spader and Lou Diamond Phillips star in this action film about the deep space rescue of a lost medical ship.

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Academy Station 6

Next Friday (R)

Sequel starring Ice Cube, Tamala Jones and John Witherspoon chronicling one Friday in South Central L.A. The neighborhood bully, Debo, is out of jail and looking for revenge for the glorious moment four years ago when Craig beat the crap out of him.

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.

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