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  • Girl, Interrupted

Angela's Ashes (R)

See full review, page 41

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

*Anna and the King (PG-13)

Unlike the 1956 Rodgers and 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; Tinseltown; Citadel Terrace

*Cider House Rules (PG-13)

Dr. Larch (Michael Caine), is a man who spends half his life caring for unwanted children and the other performing abortions. When the chance arises, oldest orphan and Larch's unapproving protg in the obstetrics business, Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), sets off to explore the world with Woody and Candy (Paul Rudd and Charlize Theron), a handsome young couple who have just availed themselves of Dr. Larch's services. Delroy Lindo gives a powerhouse performance as Mr. Rose -- the head of the picking crew on the apple farm owned by Woody's mother -- who has an incestuous relationship with his daughter, wonderfully played by hip-hop artist Erykah Badu in her movie debut. John Irving, who wrote the novel, did an excellent job of paring down his long, Dickensian work into a cogent screenplay that doesn't sacrifice its heart in the translation. The characters' quirks and charms are intact, especially those of Dr. Larch, played by Caine with an overwhelming kindness and vulnerability. His scenes glow with humanity, and Maguire's low-key Homer provides an interesting counterpart. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Carmike 10

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

*The End of the Affair (R)

See full review, page 41

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

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

Silver Cinemas

*Girl, Interrupted (R)

Girl, Interrupted stays relatively true to Suzanna Kaysen's autobiography -- which details her two years spent in a mental institution in the late 1960's after a half-hearted suicide attempt at age 18 -- and is notable for several very fine performances. Winona Ryder as Suzanna uses her enormous brown-black eyes to powerful effect, giving quiet insight into the fine balance between madness and sanity. Whoopi Goldberg plays the long-suffering Nurse Valerie with subtlety and charm, and Angelina Jolie uses every ounce of her obvious magnetism to underscore the appeal of the gorgeous sociopath, Lisa, who becomes Suzanna's best friend. The film occasionally makes a misstep when it searches for dramatic situations in place of the more metaphorical exploration Kaysen undertakes in her autobiography. Such plot contrivances aside, however, Girl, Interrupted is a fine, quiet film that examines how the causes and definitions of insanity may change with the times. -- AL

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

*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 but apparently clairvoyant inmate (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; Gold Hill Theaters

*The Hurricane (R)

Veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison tells Rubin Hurricane Carter's story powerfully and with a steady gaze in The Hurricane. In May of 1967, Carter, a rising professional boxing champion, was convicted of the murders of three white people in Paterson, New Jersey, and was sentenced to three life terms in prison. For the next 20 years, Carter remained incarcerated, wrote an autobiography and continued to petition the courts for his freedom. There are no groundbreaking camera tricks or imaginative twists in this biopic -- the story is a stunner on its own. As Carter, Denzel Washington's performance perfectly captures Carter's evolution -- as he is ripped from the world of notability and locked in seclusion, both his grief and his compassion expand. And young actor Vicellous Reon Shannon's depiction of Lesra, a Brooklyn boy who came to know Hurricane Carter after reading his book and becoming a pen pal, is captivating. Both the movie and its formidable star succeed at dramatizing the hideous injustice of Carter's imprisonment, and the excruciatingly painful passage of time behind bars. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Tiffany Square

*Magnolia (R)

Director Paul Thomas Anderson's theme is difficult to grasp, but brilliantly explored. Six stories intertwine, accented by the stark tunes of singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, in one of the better collaborations between filmmaking and popular music ever made. Jason Robards is haggard and heart-wrenching as Earl Partridge, a dying man; Juliette Moore makes you squirm in your seat as Linda, his brittle wife; Philip Seymour Hoffman anchors the film as Phil, Earl's caring nurse; Tom Cruise burns up the screen as television infomercial king Frank T.J. Mackey, Earl's estranged son; John C. Reilly is perfect as the bumbling cop who falls for cocaine addict Claudia, also wonderfully played by Melora Waters; Philip Baker Hall is tragically worn out as a game-show host, also dying, who is trying to come to terms with his worst transgressions. Magnolia is a brutally honest, three-hour-long combination manic-depressive episode and acid trip to the place we all fear and know too well, the juncture of who we've been in the past and who we are now, faced with brutal honesty. -- KCE

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

Chapel Hills

Snow Falling on Cedars (PG-13)

Directed with blatant artistic self-consciousness by Scott Hicks (Shine), each perfectly framed and filmed scene in Snow Falling on Cedars feels over-directed, with the exception of the courtroom scenes where veteran Max Van Sydow, who plays the doddering old barrister hired to defend Kazuo Miyamoto (Rick Yune) on a murder charge, is allowed to meander through his lines with well-earned respect and dignity. It is 1950, and the setting is Amity Island, a Pacific coast community heavily populated with Japanese immigrants. Watching the trial is Ishmael (Ethan Hawke), the local newspaperman who is most fascinated with Hatsue (Youki Kudoh), Miyamoto's wife, the love of Ishmael's life who spurned him. The movie works best in the central sections when the Japanese-American citizens are shuffled off to the internment camp at Manzanar for the duration of the war. This is compelling stuff, and it is a merciful escape from the overcast skies and overwrought emotions that dominate the rest of the film. The dramatic tension of the murder trial is lost in the fog, and by the end, we don't care at all who committed the murder, we just want desperately to see the sky. -- KCE

Kimball's Twin Peak; Tinseltown; 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

*The Thomas Crown Affair (R)

Flirtatious banter, sexual foreplay and plenty of nude romping between art expert Catherine Banning (Rene Russo) and poor bored tycoon Thomas Crown (Pierce Brosnan) comprise much of this intriguing but uneven film. Brosnan comes across as a prissy stuffed shirt. Worth seeing, however, is Russo's full-out performance, packed with lusty charm. -- KCE

Broadmoor

*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

OPENING THIS WEEK

Eye of the Beholder (R)

Ewen McGregor is "The Eye", a British intellegence agent so taken, nearly obsessed, with a beautiful killer that he cannot apprehend her. Also starring Ashley Judd, k.d. lang, Jason Priestley and Genevieve Bujold. Directed by Stephan Elliott.

Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Tiffany Square

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (not rated)

A slap-stick comedy with almost no plot, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break is the last feature-length film starring legendary comedian W.C. Fields.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. 634-5583. Tues., Feb. 1, 7 p.m.

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

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