This week's premieres
photo: Continental Film
The Matrix Revolutions - Thriller/Sci-fi by Andy and Larry Wachowski. The final chapter in the ground-breaking, pop culture-altering trilogy. It should answer most of the questions left open by instalment number two, The Matrix Reloaded. But don't let any pseudo-philosophers tell you otherwise; only two questions really matter: Will it overcome part two's recycled monotony to recapture the balls-out action spirit that made the first so immediately likeable? And, will there be more of Monica Bellucci?
Adaptation (Adaptácia) - Comedy/Drama by Spike Jonze. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Jonze continue their clever, original collaboration where Being John Malkovich left off (literally). Undoubtedly the first film to have received an Academy Award nomination for a fictitious person (the screenplay is credited to Charlie and Donald Kaufman - the latter being Charlie's creation: his non-existent twin), it is also probably the only film that could have been nominated in both the Best Original and Best Adapted Screenplay categories. Confused? So is Charlie Kaufman. This is part of the point of Jonze's and Kaufman's playful postmodern film. Featuring wonderful performances from all its major players, it is a reminder that Nicolas Cage actually can be a great actor, evidence that Meryl Streep should more often play non-melodramatic roles, and proof of Chris Cooper's genius. Cooper's sublime performance, which won him last year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar, represents one of the very few instances in which the Academy was absolutely right. In short: This quirky, subversive gem should not be missed.
Other movies playing
American Wedding (Prci, prci, prcičky 3: Svadba)- Comedy/Romance by Jesse Dylan. This is the third instalment - and if there is any justice, the last - in the highly successful, highly overrated American Pie series. Centred around the wedding of two of the old high school friends (Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan), the film uses this setting as a means to plunge even further into the world of sexual misadventures and bodily functions. Presumably, no man, woman, animal, baked good, or cliché is spared.
Bad Boys II - Action/Comedy by Michael Bay. With their natural, playful chemistry, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith occasionally overcome all obstacles to make this movie, for fleeting moments at least, mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, these moments are suffocated by Bay's empty, unoriginal, violence-obsessed flamboyance. To see flamboyant violence done well, see Kill Bill instead.
photo: Saturn Entertainment
Freaky Friday (Strelený piatok) - Comedy/Fantasy by Mark S. Waters. In this remake of the 1976 Disney family classic, a soon-to-be-remarried mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her angst-ridden teenage daughter (Lindsay Lohan) constantly quarrel. With the mother's wedding rapidly approaching, the two must quickly reconcile, but it is not until the magical powers of the Chinese fortune cookie cause them to switch bodies that they can begin to see through one another's eyes.
Kill Bill - Action by Quentin Tarantino. Hollywood's enfant terrible returns from hiding with this sprawling, bloody pastiche. The first of two parts. As the avenging heroine, Uma Thurman displays intense focus, something the rest of the film clearly lacks. But, this seems to be Tarantino's purpose: to shove as many of his idiosyncratic cinematic loves and obsessions into mainstream multiplexes as possible, using Hong Kong action, Japanese samurai films, and the incredibly beautiful Thurman as his starting point. It is the clearest distillation so far of Tarantino's varied, often marginalized tastes. Defiantly and decidedly not for everyone, but highly recommended for those who have ever grown excited by a movie described as "trash".
photo: Continental Film
Swimfan (Nebezpečná známosť) - Thriller by John Polson. Fatal Attraction for 21st century adolescents, only this time it is a popular high school swim star the femme fatale is after. After what she promises is just a one-night stand with the swim star (Jesse Bradford), Madison Bell (Erika Christensen) hungers for more, no matter who or what she must destroy.
The Hours (Hodiny) - Drama by Stephen Daldry. Garnering a slew of nominations at last year's Academy Awards, including a Best Actress win for Nicole Kidman, this is quite difficult and ambiguous for a typical high-profile Hollywood studio effort. Held together by uniformly strong performances (Kidman really is as good as advertised), the film manages to be engaging and thought-provoking throughout, despite some imperfections and its attempting to tackle a bit too much.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp
3. Nov 2003 at 0:00