This week's premieres
photo: Continental Films
The Last Samurai (Posledný samuraj) - Action/Drama by Edward Zwick. Nominated for four Academy Awards, most notably a Best Supporting Actor nod for popular Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. Tom Cruise plays Captain Nathan Algren, a hero of the American Civil War enlisted by the Japanese government to train its troops in modern warfare to rid the country of its samurai. But after being taken prisoner by the samurai, Algren begins to understand and appreciate the very culture he was hired to eradicate.
Other movies playing
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.
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. 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 be as a progressive outsider in the rigid atmosphere of a blue-blooded women's college in the early 1950s, she actually seems more like a 21st century woman awkwardly placed in 1950s America.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp