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This week's premieres

photo: Itafilm

Big Fish (Veľká ryba) - Drama/Fantasy by Tim Burton. Burton has proven himself over and over to be one of Hollywood's most creative and intriguing filmmakers. Thus, it was incredibly disappointing when his previous film, a remake of Planet of the Apes - seemingly a perfect choice for a man who blends fantasy, humour, and genuine emotion so beautifully - was so utterly awful. His new film, Big Fish, has been alternately called a return to form and Burton's best film. A young man (Billy Crudup) tries to dig through legend to somehow arrive at the truth about his dying father, Ed Bloom (Albert Finney). Ewan McGregor plays Ed in his younger days, and Alison Lohman and Jessica Lange, respectively, play his wife, young and old. Also starring Helena Bonham Carter, whose turn as the "foxy" ape that the human Mark Wahlberg falls for in Planet of the Apes led to a fruitful relationship: she and Burton recently had a child. Let's hope this, their third collaboration, is as productive as their second.

Stuck on You(Bratia ako sa patrí) - Comedy by Bobby and Peter Farelly. The Farelly brothers' (There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber) latest exercise in juvenile humour stars Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins who move to Los Angeles when one of them (Kinnear) gets a part on Cher's TV show. Will the overbearing artifice of Hollywood break them apart? Or do the clumsy, heavy hands of the Farellys rob them of all life from the outset?

photo: Continental Film

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (Looney Tunes: Späť v akcii) - Adventure comedy by Joe Dante. This mix of animation and live action brings the beloved Warner Brothers characters back into popular consciousness. Daffy Duck no longer wants to be overshadowed by Warner Bros star Bugs Bunny, so he demands to be released from his contract. Instead, the studio's vice president, Kate (Jenna Elfman), instructs the stuntman DJ Drake (Brendan Fraser) to kick the winged primadonna off the studio lot. In the process, Daffy and DJ learn that DJ's father (Timothy Dalton) has been kidnapped by the evil Mr Chairman (Steve Martin), who obsesses over finding the precious Blue Monkey Diamond. Thus, they embark on a mission to rescue him, and Kate and Bugs follow, in an attempt to reconcile with Daffy. Sound confusing? It probably isn't; the plot most likely takes a back seat to anvils falling from the sky and animated rabbits dressed in drag.

Other movies playing

photo: Itafilm

Mona Lisa Smile (Úsmev Mony Lisy) - Drama by Mike Newell. This Julia Roberts vehicle wears its intentions on its sleeve - a sleeve covering an arm that is repeatedly shoved down your throat. Though its proto-feminist message is well-meaning (you can do something other than be housewives, girls!), in 2004, it comes across more than a trifle old-fashioned. Feminism in art - and in Western culture in general, for that matter - has moved well beyond such a tame message. If the film were particularly effective, or if it at least were an accomplished period piece, this would be excusable. Instead, it is a shallow and predictable, if inoffensive, film that begs to be considered important. And though Roberts' character is meant to come across as a progressive outsider in the rigid atmosphere of a blue-blooded women's college in the early 1950s, she actually comes across more like a 21st century woman awkwardly placed in 1950s America. Also starring the talented trio of Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, of whom only Gyllenaal truly acquits herself.

photo: Continental Film

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Pán prsteňov: Návrat kráľa) - Fantasy/Epic by Peter Jackson. So, it is not perfect; it occasionally indulges in off-putting, supposedly humorous one-liners and the sort of inspirational pre-battle talk one would expect from a Mel Gibson or Kevin Costner movie. Nevertheless, it is a remarkably quick three-and-a-half hours, a gorgeous spectacle, a worthy end to one of the most ambitious projects you are likely to see at the movies, and will probably bring in Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.

Prepared by Jonathan Knapp

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