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Bedazzled (PG-13)

Stars Brendan Fraser as a pitiful technical support geek. Elliot is in love with co-worker Alison, who has never noticed him. Along comes Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil, offering him his heart's desire -- in exchange for his soul. The real delight of this film is Brendan Fraser. Each time he finds himself in a new ridiculous situation, Fraser demonstrates amazing comic talent, using a very plastic face, a perpetually surprised expression and a slightly awkward physicality to produce radical transformations. The film almost falls flat at the ending, where the writers couldn't seem to resist the temptation to moralize. Fortunately, however, this blip doesn't destroy the film, it just makes the comedown from hilarity a little abrupt.See full review. -- AL

Silver Cinemas

*Bring it On (PG-13)

With one foot firmly planted in the sexed-up teen genre, Bring It On is a perky and often hilarious take on the world of competitive cheerleading. Adorable dimpled blonde Kirsten Dunst is Torrance, the head cheerleader five-time national cheerleading champions. Coming up with a new routine in time for the nationals provides the central conflict of the movie, but the peculiar brand of adolescent sexiness native to cheerleaders dominates the film. The cheering is terrific, the teen-speak dialogue relentless, the camera moves supple and graceful, and the climax is sweet and satisfying. See full review.-- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*Cast Away (PG-13)

Cast Away is not a great film -- it wanders in the end and loses dramatic momentum almost fatally -- but Tom Hanks' is a great performance. When we meet him at the beginning of the film, he is a hyperactive Federal Express efficiency expert -- irritatingly smart, glib and precise. But his comeuppance is surviving a plane crash that kills all the other passengers, and washing up on an island where he is helpless against the elements. Here, Director Robert Zemeckis' skill comes to play, creating a place where the viewer is drawn to feel as if she is actually there, partaking in the action. Hanks is touching, funny, painfully human. We grow to love him because he makes the best of the situation by succumbing to a bit of madness, passing his time talking to a volleyball, washed ashore in a FedEx package. When he is finally rescued and returns to civilization, we don't give a damn about what will happen with his girlfriend at home, nicely played by Helen Hunt, we just want to see how he will adjust his life, given what he has learned. Zemeckis missteps and gives us what we don't want, but we can forgive him because the moments on the island were so entertaining and so remarkably well acted. See full review.-- KCE

Carmike 10; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16; Gold Hill Theaters

Charlie's Angels (PG-13)

This Charlie's Angels is no television throwback, but a tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top female martial arts fantasy in which every uttered word is a sexual innuendo -- and a funny one at that. Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore are utterly engaging as three gorgeous chicks with all the usual hangups who just happen to also be secret agents. Don't worry about the plot; it doesn't matter. All that matters is the pace and the ass-kicking which are both non-stop, cleverly filmed and arresting in a very Jackie Chan-ish manner. Diaz, in particular, shows terrific comic flair. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

Chocolat (PG-13)See full review.Tinseltown; Chapel Hills

*Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (PG-13)

With Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, director Ang Lee resurrects a popular form -- the swordplay kung-fu film of 1960s Hong Kong -- and turns it into something so beautiful that we forget we've been watching a martial arts flick. The story depicts the struggle for the soul of a disciple, filmed in Chinese dialects with English subtitles. In his exacting fashion, Ang Lee has seen to it that the words that cross the screen are perfectly choreographed, the translation matched to the rhythm of speech so that reading it becomes as natural as watching the action on the screen. The astonishing fight scenes have warriors catapulting across rooftops, through the branches of trees, and flying over waterfalls. All of Crouching Tiger is beautifully filmed, and it's one of those movies that offers images that stay with you. Still, it does not pretend to be profound; it's loaded with humor and tongue-in-cheek bows to Hollywood traditions. If I could choose only one film of 2000 as an absolute must-see, I'd go with the resplendent Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.See full review.-- KCE

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Extreme (not rated)

This is not a 3D film, so you won't go home feeling like you were strapped to a surfboard riding 30-foot waves, but the stunts featured are indeed extreme. World class surfers, skiers, snowboarders and climbers fill the giant screen, taking the viewer into the world of daredevil sports and into the minds of the people that perform them. Arial views and extreme close-ups are narrated with voiceovers by the athletes, and backed up by a killer soundtrack from Soulfood featuring everything from world music to hip hop. The end credits are fascinating, showing how some of this stuff was filmed. -- John Lindsay

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Family Man

A perfectly acceptable takeoff of the Frank Capra/ Jimmy Stewart film It's a Wonderful Life, although missing virtually all of the magic. In this version, Nicholas Cage plays a fabulously successful investor who does a good deed, and is rewarded with what his angel (Don Cheadle) calls "a glimpse" into what might have been if he had stayed with his college sweetheart Kate (Ta Leoni). But alas, The Family Man is remarkably ignorant of economic realities. What is missing is all the substance of its great predecessor: the sense of uplifting spirit, of connection, of community, of dignity and reward in self-sacrifice. Having lost their grasp of economic reality and community life from too long a stint in Hollywood, the creators of The Family Man have in turn lost the essence of one of the great modern Christmas tales. Man See full review.-- AL

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

Finding Forrester (PG-13)

Finding Forrester lags and lurches. Newcomer Rob Brown, an inexperienced, 16-year-old non-actor, does a perfectly respectable job in the role of Jamal, a well-read, basketball-playing, aspiring writer. Director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) lingers too long on setting up the characters before the story kicks in, and gives an overwrought weight to endless scenes between Jamal and his writing mentor William Forrester (Sean Connery). The top-heavy casting serves to give Sean Connery the floor as a grand master, massaging his role with flourishes and his signature Scottish charisma. Finding Forrester is predictable as a bow to the Hollywood powers-that-be to prove that Van Sant is still capable of directing mainstream dramatic hay. See full review.-- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*Meet the Parents (PG-13)

Within the framework of what, on the surface, looks like a typical family comedy lurks a biting satire on the empty material satisfactions of WASP existence in America. Ben Stiller is the unfortunately named Gaylord "Greg" Focker, a Jewish male nurse who immediately unravels when he has to meet the parents of his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo). Robert DeNiro gives a pitch perfect performance as Daddy Dearest for whom no suitor of his precious Pammy will ever measure up. Stiller and DeNiro spar with graceful comic ease, and ultra-suburbia has rarely been drawn more convincingly. -- KCE

Silver Cinemas

*Men of Honor (PG-13)

Robert DeNiro returns to dramatic acting as Billy Sunday, a racist master chief Navy diver in charge of training Navy salvage mates. Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding Jr. gives a solid performance as Carl Brashear, the first African American to be accepted into diving program in the newly integrated 1950s Navy. Men of Honor overshoots its mark, working harder than it needs in making a point of Brashear's tireless diligence and sense of honor. Both DeNiro and Gooding are intensely captivating in the way they use their bodies as thinking extensions of Navy men, completely focused on opposing goals. A well-rounded family film. See full review.-- Cole Smithey

Silver Cinemas

Miss Congeniality (PG-13)

Nobody does bumbling and endearing better than Sandra Bullock and here she lets it rip. All of Miss Congeniality centers on her hilarious pratfalls and clumsy attempts to fit into the world of beauty pageants, and the laughs are plenty. Unfortunately, the filmmakers decided to rely almost completely on her excellent physical comedy and practically forgot the need for a script. Not sublime silliness, but dumb comedy.See full review.

Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Cinemark 16

*O Brother Where Art Thou? (PG-13)

God love the Coen brothers. What kind of mind imagines Homer's Odyssey set in Depression-era rural Mississippi? This funny, slight idea is lovingly and solidly conceived and executed. Not only do the Coens pull off the silly story, making it intriguing at every turn, but they create a fully imagined physical world on camera. George Clooney is pitch perfect as Ulysses Everett McGill, a smart-talking, slick-looking con man who breaks away from a penal farm chain gang and drags along the two guys who happen to be hooked up to him on either side -- dour Pete (John Turturro) and hapless Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson). Of all the Coen brothers' comedies, O Brother is the lightest with far less of the brutal humor and violent consequences their movies usually contain. Tim Blake Nelson's performance is as sweet and friendly as a good old hound dog. Best musical soundtrack of the year. See full review.-- KCE

Tinseltown

Remember the Titans (PG)

Remember the Titans glorifies youth, manhood and the pursuit of football as the best avenues for social justice. The field of justice is, in this case, an Alexandria, Va., high school ordered to desegregate in 1971, where the school board hires a black man, Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) to coach their successful Titans football team. As usual, Washington manages to hit just the right note throughout the film, helping to redeem a fairly cheeseball script and bring out its nobility. See full review.-- AL

Silver Cinemas

Snatch (R)See full review.Kimball's Twin Peak; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*Thirteen Days (PG-13)

An exceptionally competent political thriller that takes us back to the dark days of the Cuban missile crisis during the short administration of President John F. Kennedy. Screenwriter David Self chooses to view the story through the eyes of White House special adviser and consummate insider Kenny O'Donnell (Kevin Costner), an old Harvard football buddy of Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Steven Culp). There's some outstanding chracter acting here by Culp, by Bruce Greenwood as John Kennedy, Dylan Baker as McNamara and Michael Fairman as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson. Culp and Greenwood do more than the expected Kennedy impersonations, and are able to depict the two as an intense governing team, brothers who explicitly trusted and admired one another. Thirteen Days could easily have fallen into the ranks of made-for-TV movies, but rises above that with its tight, intelligent screenplay, great visuals of the air over Cuba and the blockade at sea, and generally superb acting. See full review.-- KCE

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*Traffic (R)

With Traffic, director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich) delivers his most complex, pertinent, gritty, opinionated and well-acted film yet. Traffic should probably be viewed twice to appreciate the complexity of the plotting, moved forward by four separate stories that eventually intersect. All illustrate the impossibility of winning the War on Drugs -- a monumental battle resulting in loss of life, personal tragedy, untold loss of public funds thrown at the problem and massive profits for the suppliers. Soderbergh films his outstanding ensemble cast with a handheld camera, upping the immediacy of the action, and colors the segments with different filters, reminding us of where we are and color-coding our emotional response. Among the actors, Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle are standouts as is Erika Christensen in her feature film debut as a young drug addict. See full review.-- KCE

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (not rated)

T-Rex is dull and predictable (and contains way too many close-ups of our lead) but, who cares? We are here to see the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they don't see as much screen time as one would hope -- Jurassic Park this ain't. That aside, when the big guys do appear, the 3D effects will have you jumping in your seat. The 3D effects, augmented by the huge sound system, are stunning. You may even forget that you are wearing special 3D glasses. (Don't worry. These are much better then the flimsy cardboard ones.) Some scenes may be a little intense for younger kids, but overall this should be a great family moviegoing experience. -- John Lindsay

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Vertical Limit (PG-13)

While the film promises a sophisticated thrill-ride, Vertical Limit succumbs to the same hackneyed ideas that weighed down other mountain-climbing movies like Cliffhanger and K2. By the time the fifth nitro-fueled explosion occurs, you may well ask yourself if it was the actors or the audience that the writers were mocking when they wrote the script. Vertical Limit was undoubtedly a very difficult film to shoot, and stands as a technical achievement of sorts, but all of the well-observed details in the world can't redeem Vertical Limit for its penchant for explosions. See full review.-- Cole Smithey

Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

What Women Want (PG-13)

What do women want? According to this film, we want empathy, sympathy, love and a good time in bed, preferably with Mel Gibson. Gibson plays Nick Marshall, a chauvinistic ad exec whose boss (Alan Alda) passes him over for a promotion in favor of Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) who is supposed to help their Chicago ad firm get more of a female touch. When Nick has an accident with a hairdryer and a bathtub that miraculously makes him able to hear what women think, he uses his newfound power to undermine Darcy in her new position. Some cute comedy from Gibson and an empathy-enducing performance by the hapless Hunt who longs for everyone to understand that she isn't really a ball buster, just a nice girl doing a hard job. See full review.-- AL

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16; Gold Hill Theaters


OPENING THIS WEEK

Best of Telluride Film Festival

Featuring the best shorts, documentaries and feature films from the festival.

Colorado College's Packard Hall, SW corner of Cascade and Cache la Poudre, 389-6607. Tues., Jan 30, 7:30 p.m.

Shadow of the Vampire (R)

In order to create a realistic movie, the director of the silent horror classic Nosferatu hires a real vampire (Willam DeFoe) to play the part, but the vampire/actor can't seem to refrain from eating the crew. With John Malkovich and Carey Elwes.

Tinseltown

Sugar and Spice (PG-13)

After one of their members becomes pregnant and needs money, a cheerleading squad decides to use its charm and flexibility to become big time robbers. Black comedy with Mena Suvari (American Beauty).

Cinemark 16; Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Carmike 10

The Wedding Planner (PG-13)

Jennifer Lopez plays a woman who meets the man of her dreams (Matthew McConaughey), only to find out that it's his wedding she's been hired to plan.

Cinemark 16; Tinseltown; Chapel Hills; Carmike 10

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

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