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Autumn in New York (PG-13)

Richard Gere plays a womanizing, aging restaurateur who falls for Winona Ryder, a youthful artiste dying from a heart ailment. Much is made of his age and her youth -- he gives her a few last laughs; she opens up his heart. Gere is an appealing leading man and Ryder does the best she can with a silly role that involves being quixotic. The production values are quite appealing, but in some ways the very prettiness of the film is its most annoying feature. The last I checked, love, eating, sex, and dying were all quite messy endeavors, but Autumn in New York makes them appear like orderly activities. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with a tidy little film, but it manages to take most of the interest out of what otherwise would be compelling subject matter. See full review. -- AL

Tinseltown; Tiffany Square

*The Basket (PG)

Peter Coyote plays a teacher with unconventional methods who comes to a small Pacific Northwest town in the midst of World War I. Though the townspeople are tired and suspicious, when he teaches them a strange new game called basketball, they react with enthusiasm and hope. Beautifully filmed, gentle and respectful treatment of difficult issues in a simpler time. -- KCE

Chapel Hills

Bless the Child (R)

Bless the Child is not a terrible flick; it's mildly entertaining. But sloppy editing, thinking and writing rob the audience of dramatic climaxes, and render many of the characters' actions inexplicable. Kim Basinger plays Maggie, a woman left with her sister's child who later proves to have spiritual powers. Maggie's sister reappears with Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell), a Satan worshiper, and the rest of the film involves Maggie's attempts to save Cody from the devil himself. The film might have been more interesting had the filmmakers made more of Jimmy Smits' role as an FBI agent specializing in occult crimes. He and Basinger are a perfect match, but little is made of their pairing. Director Chuck Russell (The Mask) either had his budget cut or lost interest in the film -- the computer effects are sloppy and amateurish. Bless the Child is God vs. Satan rehashed, largely unmemorably. See full review. -- KCE

Carmike 10; Tinseltown

The Cell (R)

The Cell is an elegantly styled psychological thriller where visually ambitious macabre settings take precedence over character development. Creepy dreamscapes and funky color schemes give a nod to suspense thrillers like Seven, and The Silence of the Lambs, but The Cell's extravagant imagery doesn't hold a candle to David Fincher's Seven for terror, dread, and suspense. The bulk of the story explores the dark territory inside the mind of serial killer Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio) as psychologist Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez) risks her sanity by interacting with the killer's subconscious to attempt to locate Starger's last victim in time to rescue her. Debut feature director Tarsem Singh has an exacting eye for mise-en-scene but spends more time ogling spectacle than executing actual suspense. As a horror or suspense film, The Cell falls short by pulling its punches in refusing to live up to the creepy and volatile standards it lays out. The filmmakers and actors seem so mesmerized by a romantic view of the nightmares that they can't follow through with the film's menacing threat. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Kimball's Twin Peak

Coyote Ugly (PG-13)

John Goodman plays the father of Violet (Piper Perabo) a wannabe musician. Violet gets a gig as bartender at Coyote Ugly, where the gorgeous bartenders double as dancers. The audience might expect a buddy film -- the cinematic equivalent of a trip to a topless joint -- but there's not much to ogle at, except silly want-to-be-sexy scenes, where the girls get very close in their wet leather pants -- nothing more than highly conventional Playboy poses. The film is most interesting in its depictions of the contradictions and pitfalls of modern gender, sexuality, and the hazards for women attempting to reclaim sexual power. See full review. -- AL

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

Disney's The Kid (PG)

Bruce Willis plays Russell Duritz, a very successful image consultant who is sometimes downright mean. Two days before his 40th birthday, Russell is visited by Rusty (Spencer Breslin), the eight-year-old incarnation of himself, who is disappointed when he finds out how his life turned out. Willis does a fine job holding his own next the pudgy, lisping, and very cute Breslin. The film is really about the pains of childhood that lead each of us to become the people that fell short of our dreams. There is nothing offensive in the film, but if you take your kids be prepared to explain a lot -- The Kid is far more of an adult film than a child's. The time traveling concept makes for a complicated plot that only exacerbates the problem. Don't go expecting a great coming of age film, just keep your average Hollywood expectations with you and you will be pleasantly entertained. See full review. -- AL

Chapel Hills

*Gladiator (R)

Russell Crowe (The Insider) acts up a righteous storm in his Roman get-up, proving once and for all that his versatility as an actor matches his prowess. Though director Ridley Scott would like you to think Gladiator is about strength, honor, duty, democracy and the danger of mob rule, in truth, it is an old-fashioned revenge drama -- and a pretty good one at that. Crowe as Maximus, beloved general of Roman troops turned slave, then gladiator, and Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, insecure usurper to the throne, make marvelous foes. Unfortunately, Scott is so enamored of his production team's ability to show heads, hands and other body parts being severed, that the fight scenes become clamorous and redundant.See full review. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

Hollow Man (R)

Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven's latest thriller is an empty, excruciating mess. Kevin Bacon stars as Dr. Sebastian Crane a government scientist who insists that he will become the first invisible human. Assisted by his former lover Linda (Elisabeth Shue) and her current lover, Matt (Josh Brolin), Crane is injected with a smoking, irradiated blue liquid, and in one of the film's compelling special effects sequences, he disappears. But special effects aside, no other aspect of Hollow Man is entertaining or enlightening. When efforts to bring Crane back to visibility fail, instead of despairing, he becomes more of a swaggering ass, growing more testy and more sadistic the longer he remains invisible. To use the guise of invisibility the way Crane does defies the presence of brains or imagination -- his is the petty psyche of a Peeping Tom that unjustly reinforces the worst male stereotypes. This overblown spectacle of a film rings empty, void, vacant, meaningless, superficial, delusive, ineffectual, unsatisfying -- in a word, hollow. See full review. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Tiffany Square

Me, Myself and Irene (R)

In spite of the combined comic genius of Jim Carrey and the Farrelly brothers (Something About Mary), Me, Myself and Irene is a step backward for both the actor and the filmmakers. Carrey plays Charlie Baileygates, a painfully good-natured guy who's proud to be part of "the greatest law enforcement agency in the world -- the Rhode Island state police." The opening sequences of the film are among the best, when we get to enjoy Carrey's pitch-perfect depiction of the ultimate geek, but the film quickly reverts to stock gross-out humor. When Charlie's personality splits to reveal Hank, his blustering alter ego and a swaggering jerk, Carrey shows off his best physical ability, throwing himself mercilessly into both roles. He eventually hooks up with Renee Zellweger as Irene Waters, a chick on the run from the law who is rescued by Charlie/Hank. Zellweger gets little chance to shine here because her character is dwarfed by Carrey's, and the movie's runaway action plot eventually throws both characters into utter chaos. Not an entire waste of two hours, Me, Myself and Irene inspires several deep belly laughs with the Farrelly's signature sick humor, but it wanders so far off course it's hard to hang on for the duration. -- KCE

Broadmoor; Silver CInemas

M: I-2 (Mission: Impossible 2) (PG-13)

Mission: Impossible 2 revels in the seductiveness of masculine super action with all the bells and whistles of techno-gadgets, fast cars and explosions attached. It's more romantic than anything in a James Bond movie and boasts better Kung Fu scenes than The Matrix. Director John Woo keeps similarities to director Brian De Palma's 1996 Mission Impossible to a minimum in this very dissimilar sequel by incorporating his signature slow motion, ballet-of-bullets action sequences against the taut resolve of Tom Cruise's most ambitious action performance to date. Cruise performed his own stunts, much to the chagrin of Paramount studio execs. The film's realism of danger allows it to operate on a higher level of believability and determination. See full review. -- Cole Smithey

Silver Cinemas

*The Original Kings of Comedy (R)

The best live performance film in memory and, surprisingly, one of the most touching films this year. Like Richard Pryor's Live on the Sunset Strip, this movie captures the power of the stage and the enthusiastic desire of the audience to be uplifted. Shot with 10 movable video cameras over three days, Kings ventures backstage briefly, but the heart of the film is onstage, and director Spike Lee masterfully captures the give-and-take of four stand-up comics and their audience. In one brilliant moment, host Steve Harvey leads the audience through a critique of hip-hop and into a Marvin Gaye celebration of love songs. Next D.L. Hughley observes the not so subtle differences between white and black folks. Hughley removes barriers, declaring no topic off limits. Cedric the Entertainer provides a low-key segue between Hughley and Bernie Mac, the most in-your-face of the comics, with more observations on the racial gap. His stage presence is mesmerizing, gathering power with every round of laughter. By the end of his segment, the audience is empowered by his courage and candidness.See full review. -- KCE

Carmike 10; Tinseltown

The Patriot (R)

Surprisingly similar to director Ridley Scott's Gladiator -- both films run over two and a half hours long and carry a tried-and-true formula: national freedom by way of revenge over brutally murdered family members. Clunky script devices continually squeak and rattle throughout the movie. And the film's pitiful attempt at black and white race relation revisionism is glaring. By watching this film for historical context, an audience gets no sense of the tensions that sent this country into civil war not so long after the end of the Revolutionary War. The Patriot is a Mel Gibson movie, and screenwriter Robert Rodat bows reverently to his leading character with radiant attention. Gibson perfectly walks a tightrope over any dramatic context with artless skill. The Patriot is an uncomfortably smooth ride over mixed terrain of emotional posturing, flashy action sequences and cultural misrepresentation. See full review. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills

The Perfect Storm (PG-13)

The summer's first blockbuster, The Perfect Storm turns out to be something of a wash. While there are plenty of white-knuckle moments, the film's stolid attempts at inciting reverence for the famed crew of the Gloucester fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, tend to throw a wet blanket over the compelling true life events memorably recounted by Sebastian Junger in his bestselling book. Director Wolfgang Petersen's clunky manner of making this obvious point feels heavy-handed and artificial. Better to tell the story through the characters and the natural elements -- a feat at which Petersen and crew only partly succeed. An editor could have done wonders with the film, but unfortunately we're stuck with what we've got -- a few spectacular scenes and some strong performances mish-mashed with too much forced solemnity and enough clichs to gag a whale. The Perfect Storm is well worth seeing, but it's far from perfect. See full review. -- KCE

Tinseltown

The Replacements (PG-13)

Keanu Reeves in full surfer-speak is Shane Falco, an All-American college football star who never made it to the big leagues.When the Washington Sentinels' players go on strike, legendary coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) is brought in to put together a team of replacement players to carry the Sentinels through. Falco is recruited as quarterback because he possesses a quality missing in the regular crew -- heart. The bulk of the action takes place on the football field. Every scene is utterly predictable. The dialogue is so lame that even the worst clichs are repeated over and over. Even the formidable Gene Hackman couldn't save this giant gridiron groaner. See full review. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Tiffany Square; Gold Hill Theaters

Saving Grace (R)

See full review.

Kimball's Twin Peak; Tinseltown

Scary Movie (R)

Scary Movie, a ripoff of teen slasher flicks Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, may win the overall competition for grossest gross-out jokes of any film ever. The brothers Wayans seem to have a concept here but they set up every joke so tediously and assiduously that by the time the punchline appears the joke is dead already. Given a big budget, the Wayans seem to wander, aggrandize, overcompensate and falter. The competent cast play imperiled teenagers adequately, and some of their lines are genuinely funny, but to watch Scary Movie is, basically, to suffer through an extended doo-doo riff with accents of snot, pee-pee and semen. -- KCE

Tiffany Square

Space Cowboys (PG-13)

A macho adventure about four Air Force men grounded by a commander (James Cromwell) during the heyday of NASA. Forty years later, when a Russian communications satellite goes kaflooey, head man Frank Corvin (Clint Eastwood) is called out of retirement to fix a problem so obsolete that only senior citizens can solve it. Corvin demands that his buddies "Hawk" (Tommy Lee Jones), "Tank" (James Garner), and Jerry (Donald Sutherland) get to tag along. Characterization? If you think macho posturing and juvenile behavior is characterization. Pacing? The glacial pacing of the first third is almost compensated by the last, but the technical mumbo-jumbo almost kills that. Overall, it is an acceptable Hollywood movie, with some cool special effects. The only big revelation is that the male fantasy of drinking-swearing-fighting-and-getting-all-the-babes only gets more ridiculous with old age. See full review. -- AL

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Gold Hill Theaters

What Lies Beneath (PG-13)

Dr. Norman (Harrison Ford) and Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) are a well-to-do married couple living alone in their lakeside home. Bored, beautiful Claire becomes a lightning rod for a ghost from Norman's not-so-distant adulterous past. Director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) kills What Lies Beneath's fleeting moments of excitement by piling up so many false starts of plot and faux shocks of terror that by the time the story finally gets around to making sense with some nitty gritty horror scenes, the audience has become numb to the suspense. See full review. -- Cole Smithey

Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Chapel Hills

*X-Men (PG-13)

The summer's biggest blockbuster turns out to be a spirited, stylish allegory more along the lines of its mighty predecessor The Matrix. Audience members are swept up almost immediately into a blessed state of suspended disbelief from which we are allowed to dwell on the spectacle before us, not on the probability of the plot. This happens incredibly swiftly with sharply defined scenes and cogent dialogue. A few subplots -- mutants Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) hankers for Dr. Grey (Famke Janssen) who is currently Cyclops' (James Marsden) main squeeze; Rogue (Anna Paquin), meanwhile, is smitten with her saviour and hero, Wolverine -- add some needed humor and heart to the mix. The diction and grave humanity of Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen lend more to the film than a year's worth of special effects. And Australian newcomer Jackman is fabulous -- a steely, Clint Eastwood look-alike who moves with feral grace and a healthy dose of skepticism throughout. See full review. -- KCE

Tinseltown; Chapel Hills


OPENING THIS WEEK

Nurse Betty (R)

A small-town nurse (Renee Zellweger) becomes obsessed with a soap opera doctor (Greg Kinnear) and follows him to Hollywood. An attempt at a different kind of comedy by black comedy bad boy director Neil LaBute (Your Friends and Neighbors).

Tinseltown

Turn It Up (R)

The Refugee All-Stars (Pras, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill) and Ja Rule star in the story of an urban musician trying to break into the big time.

Tinseltown

The Watcher (R)

James Spader plays a burnt-out FBI agent trying to get on with his life, only to become involved in a string of grisly murders by serial killer David Allen Griffen (Keanu Reeves). With Marisa Tomei.

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown

The Way of the Gun (R)

Benecio Del Toro and Ryan Phillippe are dimwitted criminals who kidnap a pregnant woman (Juliette Lewis), only to be pursued by an aging mercenary (James Caan).

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown

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

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