This week's premieres
Hellboy - Action by Guillermo del Toro. Ron Perlman stars as Hellboy, a demon summoned from hell by the Third Reich with help from an evil man named Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden). But Hellboy is captured by the Americans, who, through the guidance of Professor Broom (John Hurt), raise him to become a compassionate young demon. All seems well until Rasputin returns, 60 years after the war, to recruit Hellboy for his latest plan to rule the world. Selma Blair also stars.
The Terminal (Terminál) - Comedy by Steven Spielberg. Yet again, Spielberg can't seem to decide what he wants to do.
At times The Terminal seems an attempt at seriously dealing with September 11, while at other times it reaches for (but misses) the kind of absurd, yet warm, humour found in Wes Anderson's films (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums). Tom Hanks is fine as a man who gets stranded indefinitely at New York's JFK airport after his home country (a non-existent Slavic country) crumbles. But the love story with Catherine Zeta Jones is completely pointless. The supporting players - particularly Stanley Tucci, Diego Luna, and Chi McBride - are the most interesting.
Other movies playing
I, Robot (Ja, Robot) - Sci-fi thriller by Alex Proyas. Would iconic sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov have approved of this adaptation of his work? Do the filmmakers really care? As is the case with any Will Smith movie, Smith is the focus here and, as usual, he's quite likeable in his role as a renegade cop out to prove to the rest of the world that robots are not necessarily as harmless as advertised. But the truth is that the movie really isn't as spectacular as advertised and, though it's also supposed to be funny in places, the true humour comes where it isn't supposed to. It also stars Bridget Moynahan, Chi McBride, and a whole lot of computer-generated images.
photo: SPI International
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (Hriešny tanec 2) - Romance by Guy Ferland. You'd think moving the Dirty Dancing scenario to Cuba would make things hotter, but it doesn't: Mostly, it just makes for shallow romanticising and some misplaced talk about the Revolution. Diego Luna and Romola Garai are perfectly pretty and likeable, but they're just not Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
The Chronicles of Riddick (Riddick: Kronika temna) - Sci-fi/Action by David N Twohy. In this sequel to 2000's Pitch Black, Vin Diesel plays the title character, a renegade running from the law and bounty hunters. He goes to the
planet Helion, which was recently seized by Lord Marshall, who leads a nasty race known as the Necromongers. Riddick agrees to help Aeron (Judi Dench) defeat the Necromongers and recapture the planet. While planning the attack, he comes across Kyra (Alexa Davalos), a girl from his past who seems to have filled out quite nicely.
Out of Time (Prezumpcia viny) - Thriller by Carl Franklin. Denzel Washington plays Matt, the chief of police in a small Florida town. While getting a divorce from a fellow cop (Eva Mendes), Matt has an affair with an old flame, Anne (Sanaa Lathan). The problem is, Anne is married to a big, burly security guard (Dean Cain) who does not take too kindly to his wife's adulterous relationship. Things turn really sour when Matt becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation.
Spider-Man 2 - Action by Sam Raimi. While the first movie was about an awkward kid turning outward as he discovers his new superpowers, this one's about a superhero losing control of these powers and then turning back inward. More driven by character than special effects, it's relatively restrained and ambitious for a comic book movie. It doesn't all work, but Raimi keeps it fun and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst keep it emotionally centred.
Prepared by Jonathan Knapp