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Reviews of new movies in the Fredericksburg area

Reviews of new movies in the Fredericksburg area

Date published: 10/16/2003




A sweet film for kids that uses an interplanetary dog to show a young boy he deserves friends--human and canine.

Kids will enjoy the silliness of dogs who can talk, fly a space ship and interpret dog-owner relationships in a whole new way.

Parents will tire quickly of the talking dogs and plot that's barely there.

Liam Aiken is perfectly cute as Owen, the industrious dog-walking lad who moves too often to make friends.

When a strange run-in with a pup from another planet allows Owen to understand dogs, the race is on to the arrival of a stellar Great Dane and the film's finish.

Kids will cheer, and parents will be glad that it's not two hours plus.

Ongoing doggie bathroom jokes and a crude word or two aren't enough to keep parents from taking youngsters, who'll love these pooches.




Clever and humorous words spoken by actors perfectly suited for their roles make for the most comical fun you can have at the movies.

That's why this film by the Coen Brothers is an early Christmas present of sorts, a delicious concoction of deftly delivered digs at marriage, divorce, lawyers, men, women and more.

George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are the two titans of romance and divorce who square off from the get-go in this farcical love story.

Clooney is the decidedly dapper but sneakingly successful king of divorce lawyers, Miles Massey. He's got everything the divorcing kind could need and want: money, power and teeth so white he can't pass up a chance to ogle his own choppers in mirrors and soup spoons.

Then one day he meets Marylin Rexroth (Zeta-Jones), a drop-dead-gorgeous gold-digging "carnivore." All that stuff about leverage and ironclad prenups goes right out the penthouse window.

Massey is smitten, and the film becomes a whimsical take on what happens when two people who do divorce for a living go head to head.

Clooney and Zeta-Jones make the most of the movie's gladly goofy tone. He rings laughter from Massey's obsession with white teeth. She's a perfect foil to men so wowed by her looks that they don't see the rug coming out from under them.

Billy Bob Thornton, Julia Duffy and Geoffrey Rush top a great supporting cast fully committed to the silliness.

But the real credit here goes to scriptwriters talented enough to toy with convention and make us enjoy it.

The rating is for sexual content, language and brief violence. Younger viewers will miss much of the humor and the fact that this whole thing is done with a wink and a nod.




Keep your talk about genius, cinematic mastery and this being an homage.

This stylish, sense-assaulting take on a martial-arts flick is, at its worst, a derivative, repetitive dance of limb-hacking swords.

You want blood? The darling of many a film critic, Quentin Tarantino, uses buckets of it here each time star Uma Thurman (as Black Mamba) shows up on screen with sword in hand.

If it's not the floor-drenching murder of everyone save her in Black Mamba's wedding party, it's silly sword fights with dozens of blade-wielding troops. It's then that this svelte blond assassin hacks off more arms, feet, legs and yes, even enough heads, to make a dozen good scarecrows.

There are moments when the blaring music, subtitles and story of ultimate revenge create some interest. But what's the justification for all this sick, blood-spurting violence? Watching hot chicks swing swords at each other.

Here Thurman, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah and Vivica Fox commit mayhem because Tarantino enjoys it.

Even in a cartoon sequence, murder victims' blood sprays like an oil gusher.

In "Pulp Fiction," the violence was set against crooks' everyday humdrum lives.

Here it's for the fun of it. That's sad.

The film is so bloody and violent, adults with normal sensitivities should think seriously before buying a ticket. Kids of any age have no business seeing this one.

Date published: 10/16/2003

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