This week's premieres
photo: Saturn Entertaintment
The Ladykillers (Päť lupičov a stará dáma) - Comedy by Joel and Ethan Coen. For their first co-directed effort (Joel usually directs while Ethan produces), the Coen brothers remake the classic 1955 British comedy starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. In the Coen version, verbose Southern gentleman Goldthwait Higginson Dorr (Tom Hanks) convinces the pious Marva Munson (Irma P Hall) to rent him her basement so that he can practice with his medieval music ensemble. What she doesn't realise is that the "ensemble" is actually the crew he's assembled to rob a riverboat casino and their practices are actually planning sessions for the heist. Many critics have called the film "disposable" by Coen standards, but that's also a claim levelled against their previous film, the vastly underrated Intolerable Cruelty.
The Human Stain (Ľudská škvrna) - Drama by Robert Benton. Anthony Hopkins stars as Coleman Silk, a revered college professor in New England who suddenly finds himself surrounded by controversy. First, he makes some comments about some African-American students that are misinterpreted as racist. Then, his affair with a married janitor (Nicole Kidman) is revealed. During this turmoil, Silk must prevent biographer Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise) from discovering a dark secret from his past.
Other movies playing
Open Range - Western by Kevin Costner. Let's be honest: Costner's fall from grace was no great tragedy. It was never clear how he - little more than a less attractive and charming than Gary Cooper - achieved such notoriety to begin with. All the same, there wasn't really that much to dislike per se, apart from his insistence upon making and starring in epic period films that seemed to serve no purpose other than trying (and, thankfully, failing) to increase his popularity. Well, with Open Range, which depicts the dangerous world of cattle ranching, he's at it again. But, perhaps he now deserves the benefit of the doubt: At least someone's trying to revive the traditional Western. And any movie that has Robert Duvall in it has at least one strong thing in its favour.
50 First Dates (50 krát a stále po prvý raz) - Romantic comedy by Peter Segal. Though it starts out looking like another typically juvenile Adam Sandler movie, 50 First Dates is actually an incredibly sweet, yet subtly perverse, romantic comedy. This is largely thanks to Drew Barrymore, whose bubbly presence not only gives life to her character, but to Sandler's as well.
Lost in Translation (Stratené v preklade)- Comedy/Drama by Sofia Coppola. Though it occasionally resorts to caricature that isn't worthy of the rest of the film's elegant restraint, this love letter to Bill Murray proves that it deserved its hype, or at least most of it. Murray is truly brilliant, equally hilarious and tragic. But, then again, he always is - something that Coppola was clearly aware of when she wrote the script. A slightly bigger surprise is Scarlett Johansson, who proves she is much more than jailbait with gorgeous lips and a husky voice. The fact that she can believably play Murray's less experienced intellectual equal shows that her promising turns in Ghost World and The Man Who Wasn't There were no fluke. Highly recommended.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp
12. Jul 2004 at 0:00