trouble with Harry, Two.
POTTER (DANIEL RADCLIFFE), DEEP INTO THE MYSTERY OF THE CHAMBER
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) hasn't heard
from his friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger
(Emma Watson), all summer long. Now that fall is coming, Harry's eager
to get back to his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and
Wizardry. But Harry's Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw) and Uncle Vernon (Richard
Griffiths) — the muggles family that raised him — have
decided that Harry won't return to Hogwarts. Suddenly, Dobby, a strange
looking house-elf, appears in Harry's room to warn him of danger.
Then when Dobby has made a real mess of things, the Weasley brothers
appear at Harry's bedroom window in a magic flying car to rescue him.
Other interesting adventures befall Harry and Ron
before they even make it back to school, but once there, they are
caught by their least favorite teacher, Professor Snape (Alan Rickman).
The intrepid trio is united at last, only to discover that a terrible
secret terror has everyone on edge. And in this adventure story, two
girls are in the most danger — Hermione and Ginny (Bonnie Wright),
Ron's younger sister who fairly worships Harry.
POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS
by Chris Columbus. Written by Steve Kloves, based on the novel
by J.K. Rowling. Produced by David Heyman. Executive producers,
Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan, David Barron.
Cinematography, Roger Pratt. Production design, Stuart Craig.
Editor, Peter Honess. Music adapted by William Ross. Music by
John Williams. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma
Watson. With Kenneth Branagh, John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick
Davis, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman,
Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith and Julie Walters. Warner Bros. Pictures,
2002. PG. 161 minutes.
To the millions who have read J.K. Rowling's novels,
it's no secret that Harry and Ron must overcome a gruesome array of
gigantic arachnids who mean to harm them. Nor will readers be surprised
at Harry and Ron's alternating courage and fear when they must defeat
a sinuous serpent of stupendous size, who is the longtime guardian
of the Chamber of Secrets. From within the chamber itself, a mysterious
malady now stalks Hogwarts campus, demanding a blood sacrifice.
Several other new characters make their appearance
as well. Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) is a pompous, self-absorbed
teacher of the Dark Arts. Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) is the
ghost of a former student who haunts the girls' bathroom. Lucius Malfoy
(Jason Isaacs) is Draco's father, even more jealous and competitive
than his son. And at the 11th hour, the film introduces the character
who embodies the evil spirit now seeking revenge, Tom Riddle (Christian
Not to ruin things for young people who will love
every minute of this movie, but introducing such an important character
in the last half-hour of a 161-minute film is bad timing and a cheap
trick to play on viewers who deserve better. While it may work in
print to bring in Riddle at the last moment to tie up all the loose
plot lines, here it simply looks like a lame device to do exactly
that. I joined other restless viewers eager to leave the theater after
this dis-spiriting turn of events.
This is a better movie than the first Harry Potter,
in part because moviegoers are now familiar with the characters, setting
and general direction of the story. But the film's last-act gaffe
is the direct result of slavish devotion to the book. Cinema requires
different skills, foremost the desire and creativity to take risks.
Compare filmmaker Peter Jackson's vividly re-imagined Lord of the
Rings trilogy to this tame (and tiresome) venture.
Director Chris Columbus and screenwriter Steve Kloves
play it safe. Their plodding pacing and the literal-mindedness of
J.K. Rowling haunt the film. I only hope Alfonso Cuarón (The
Secret Garden), who will direct Harry 3, is not constrained by
loyal fans or studio suits from stirring some go-juice into the plot.
This lucrative franchise needs to surprise us. Please! And you kids:
Keep an open mind and learn that movies aren't just books translated
for the screen but an art form worth relishing for its own sake. Now
playing at Cinemark and Cinema World.
Back to Top
EIGHT WOMEN: Written
and directed by François Ozon. Co-written by Marina De Van, freely
adapted from the play by Robert Thomas. Produced by Olivier Delbosc,
Marc Missonnier. Cinematography, Jeanne Lapoirie. Set design, Arnaud
de Moléron. Costumes, Pascaline Chavanne. Sébastien Charles.
Editor, Laurence Bawedin. Original music, Krishna Lévy. Starring
Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny
Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Danielle Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier and
Firmine Richard. Focus Features, 2002. R. 113 minutes.
The opening sequence make it clear that
this movie by filmmaker François Ozon (Under the Sand)
will not be based on reality but on make-believe. It is a musical,
a farce, a melodrama, a whodunit from generations past, but most of
all, it is a stage show. Large faux snowflakes fall from above as
the camera comes to focus on the door to a large country estate. Painted
trees laden with snow show that the setting is fake. The characters
assemble, and action takes place inside the house. The camera does
not follow characters when they exit the stage, and whatever happens
offstage remains mysterious.
AUGUSTINE (ISABELLE HUPPERT) ACTS OUT IN A FAMILY SQUABBLE.
Early on we meet the family. Mamy (Danielle Darrieux)
is a somewhat frail older woman, who lives in the house with her brittle,
unmarried daughter, Augustine (Isabelle Huppert). Mamy's other daughter,
the glamorous Gaby (Catherine Deneuve), arrives with her spirited
daughter, Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen). Gaby's younger daughter, Catherine
(Ludivine Sagnier), lives here with her father, whom we never see.
The servants include Madame Chanel (Firmine Richard),
who cooks and cares for the household, and Louise (Emmanuelle Béart),
the maid, a knowing coquette who only cares for the absent paterfamilias.
Eventually Pierrette (Fanny Ardant) joins the others, bringing a whiff
of family scandal with her.
These beautiful, individually powerful women are dressed
to the hilt in designer fashions of the 1950s, when mediocre plays
such as this one by Robert Thomas were produced in high schools across
the country. If you are familiar with the naive detective genre, you
can get right into it as the plot begins to unravel.
directed by François Ozon. Co-written by Marina De Van, freely
adapted from the play by Robert Thomas. Produced by Olivier Delbosc,
Marc Missonnier. Cinematography, Jeanne Lapoirie. Set design,
Arnaud de Moléron. Costumes, Pascaline Chavanne. Sébastien
Charles. Editor, Laurence Bawedin. Original music, Krishna Lévy.
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart,
Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Danielle Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier
and Firmine Richard. Focus Features, 2002. R. 113 minutes.
Early in the first act, Louise discovers that the
man of the house is dead in his bed, a knife in his back. Then one
of the women finds the phone dead, the wires cut. Then the car won't
start. And by now, the snow is too deep for anyone to walk out. And
so it goes. And when Pierrette arrives, it is clear to all that the
culprit must be in the house, and Suzon begins questioning each person
Secrets tumble out, surprising bonds are formed, and
all the somewhat pejorative implications of the word "melodrama" are
brought to bear. Nothing about this slender thread of a story would
hold together except that these very extraordinary actors have long
known every trick in the book, and their antics are endlessly charming
if somewhat hollow.
But alas! This is also a musical, so from time to
time one of the characters breaks into song (in the actor's own voice)
or song-and-dance. The first time, it's fun to see Deneuve dancing
and singing with Sagnier and Ledoyen. But thereafter, the musical
interludes interrupt whatever forward momentum the movie has achieved.
They fall flat, except Ardant's fabulous stripper homage to Rita Hayworth
in Gilda from the late 1940s, which sizzles.
If you love this kind of pastiche, you'll love this
movie. If you adore the sensibilities of French movies, come and get
it. If you just want to glory in the sight of eight brilliant stars
of French cinema in one package, this one's for you. If you enjoy
high camp on its own terms, here it is. The movie's delicious moments
include a great cat fight between Deneuve and Ardant that ends in
a kiss, and a rewarding sense that these eight feminine souls will
manage very well without a man, thank you. But if you need a movie
to be sensible, rooted in reality, logical and above all, a meaningful
experience, forget it.
Eight Women opens Friday, Dec. 13 at the Bijou,
probably just for one week.
Back to Top
Films open the Friday following
date of EW publication unless otherwise noted. See
archived movie reviews.
Circuit: Uneven fiction film about secret LA
gay parties has found a cult following in other cities. NR. Bijou.
Drumline: Directed by Charles Stone, this tale
of a talented street drummer from Harlem who goes to a college in
the south, expecting to lead its marching band stars Nick Cannon,
Zoe Saldana and Orlando Jones. PG-13. Cinemark.
Eight Women: French director François
Ozon brings a star-studded cast to this confection: a farcical, melodramatic
whodunit set at a villa in the 1950s. Stars Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle
Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant, Viginie Ledoyen, Danielle
Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier and Firmine Richard. R. Bijou. See review
Hot Chick: Verbally abusive cheerleader wakes
up in the body of Rob Schneider. Yikes! Directed by Tom Brady. PG-13.
Cinema World. Cinemark.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Directed
and re-imagined by Peter Jackson, part two of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy
follows the ring-bearer Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) deeper
into enemy territory, with Gollum (Andy Serkis) as their guide. Meanwhile
Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John-Rhys
Davies) try to rescue Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd).
Many new characters, a surprise return and battles against the forces
of evil. PG-13. Opens Wed. 12/18. Cinemark. Cinema World.
Maid in Manhattan: Ralph Fiennes is a well-off
politician staying at a swank New York hotel. Jennifer Lopez is a
single-mother maid working there. He sees her dressed in a guest's
clothing and falls for her, like Richard Gere fell for Julia Roberts
in Pretty Woman. Not too enlightened nor original an idea.
PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Star Trek: Nemesis: Captain Jean-Luc Picard
and the crew of the Enterprise face an alien race, the Remans. Picard
takes a diplomatic mission to the Romulans, but a surprisingly personal
nemesis appears, and all is at stake. Stars Patrick Stewart, Jonathan
Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden,
Marina Sirtis, Ron Perlman, Tom Hardy. Dir. by Stuart Baird. PG-13.
Cinemark. Cinema World.
Trapped: Luis Mandoki (Angel Eyes) directs
this by-the-numbers thriller. Charlize Theron is the mother of a kidnapped
child, Stuart Townsend is the diabetic girl's father, and Courtney
Love and Kevin Bacon are the criminals. R. Movies 12.
Two Weeks Notice: Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock
star in this romantic comedy by Marc Lawrence in his directorial debut.
Grant is a wealthy man, and Bullock is his lawyer. Sneak at 7:30 pm
on 12/14/ Cinemark.
Abandon: Directed by Stephen Gaghan
(Traffic writer) and starring Katie Holmes as a co-ed whose boyfriend
disappeared two years earlier, and Benjamin Bratt as the detective
who turns up surprising new facts about her friend. PG-13. Movies
Analyze That: Sequel reunites crazy-as-a-fox
Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) and Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal), but
Sobel's wife (Lisa Kudrow) is not happy about having Vitto around.
Has he really lost his mind, or is it just a ruse to get out of the
slammer? Directed by Harold Ramis. R. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Die Another Day: Pierce Brosnan returns as
James Bond for a new mission that takes him to Iceland in this action
adventure yarn directed by Lee Tamahori. Costars Halle Berry, John
Cleese and Judi Dench, with Rosamund Pike. Evil enemies played by
Toby Stephens and Rick Yune. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Eight Crazy Nights, Adam Sandler's: Animated
holiday musical stars Adam Sandler as a basketball coach and a publicist
for the New York Knicks, who put together a wild and crazy deal. Other
voices include Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider and Tyra Banks.
Directed by Seth Kearley. PG-13. Cinemark.
Eight Mile: Set on the gritty streets of Detroit,
Curtis Hanson's greatly anticipated film stars Eminem in his first
screen role, Kim Basinger as his mom. Also, Brittany Murphy, Mekhi
Phifer and Taryn Manning. R. Cinemark. Online archives.
Emperor's Club, The: Kevin Kline plays a dedicated
prep school teacher and Emile Hirsch, the son of a powerful senator,
is his student. Twenty years later, they meet again. PG-13. Cinemark.
Empire: John Leguizamo stars in this tale of
a drug dealer getting out of the life for a straight job on Wall Street.
But of course it's not simple to live down the past. Great supporting
cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Denise Richards, Ruben Blades, Sonia
Braga and Isabella Rossellini. Directed by Franc Reyes .R. Cinemark.
Far From Heaven: Director Todd Haynes and cinematographer
Edward Lachman deliver an exceptionally beautiful, emotionally resonant
film. Excellent performances by Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis
Haysbert and Patricia Clarkson. Very highest recommendations. PG-13.
Bijou. Online archives.
Femme Fatale: Brian De Palma's thriller stars
Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as the mysterious wife of the American ambassador
to France. Antonio Banderas plays the freelance photographer who learns
about her past. R. Movies 12.
Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets: Again directed
by Chris Columbus, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) try to uncover a dark force terrorizing
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. G. Cinema World. Cinemark.
See review this issue.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding: It's about the 30-year
old, unmarried daughter (Nia Vardalos) in a passionate but demanding
Greek NY family, who meets the man she to marry (John Corbett), but
he isn't Greek. This sweet romantic comedy entertains. Run-away independent
hit of 2002!. Recommended. PG. Cinema World. Online archives.
Red Dragon: Anthony Hopkins returns as Hannibal
Lecter, the cannibal, serial killer, while Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes,
Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour
Hoffman flesh out the cast. Directed by Brett Ratner. R. Movies 12.
Ring, The: Gore Verbinski finds a solid cast
in Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive), Chris Cooper and Brian Cox
for this remake of Hideo Nakata's 1998 Japanese horror film. PG-13.
Rules of Attraction: Roger Avary writes and
directs James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder and
Jessica Biel in what The New York Times calls "a high-octane
adaptation" of Bret Easton Ellis's novel. R. Movies 12.
Santa Clause 2: Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) begins
looking for the perfect Mrs. Claus, because if he doesn't get married
by Christmas Even, he'll stop being Santa forever. G. Cinemark.
Secretary: Totally original story of a mutually
satisfying but offbeat workplace relationship stars the excellent
Maggie Gyllenhaal as a troubled but game secretary and James Spader,
whose E. Edward Grey is not the right boss for just anyone. Sexual
hijinks from the dark side, Steven Shainberg's non-traditional sex
comedy is highly recommended. R. LateNite Bijou.
Signs: Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan
and starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix in this supernatural thriller
about crop circles. Also stars Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin. PG-13.
Movies 12. Online archives.
Solaris: George Clooney stars in Steven Soderbergh's
remake of 1972 sci-fi movie by Russian master, Andrei Tarkovsky, about
scientists who fall under the spell of a strange planet that they
are orbiting. Costars Natascha McElhone and Jeremy Davies. Highest
recommendations. PG-13. Cinema World. Cinemark. Online archives.
Spirited Away: Latest film from legendary Japanese
animation director Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke) follows
adventures of 10-year old girl, Chihiro, who discovers a secret world
and must take care of herself after her parents undergo a mysterious
transformation. Newly dubbed by John Lasseter (Toy Story),
this film is not just for kids. Critics are correctly calling it a
masterpiece. Very highest recommendations. PG. Bijou. Online archives.
Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams: Robert Rodriguez
says his sequel has lots of action, is fun and nobody dies. Stars
Antonio Banderas, Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega. PG. Movies 12.
Stealing Harvard: Tom Green, Jason Lee, Leslie
Mann and Megan Mullaly star in this tale of a clean-living, hardworking
guy who dabbles in crime and gets caught. PG-13. Movies 12.
Stuart Little 2: Stuart goes to school now,
and he has big brother George and baby sister Martha to play with.
But a mysterious bird named Margalo involves everyone in an adventure.
Voices of Michael J. Fox, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Geena Davis
and more. PG. Movies 12.
Treasure Planet: Robert Louis Stevenson's classic
adventure set on a spaceship that runs into hazards like black holes
and supernovas. Animated film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker
includes voices of Emma Thompson and Martin Short. PG. Cinemark.
Tuxedo, The: PG-13. Jackie Chan's a limo driver
who borrows his boss' tux only to discover that it's a high-tech killing
machine. With Jennifer Love Hewitt and Peter Stormare. PG-13. Movies
White Oleander: Peter Kosminsky directs the
film adaptation of this best-seller about a young girl (Alison Lohman)
who moves through several foster home after her mother (Michelle Pfeiffer)
goes to prison. Also stars Renée Zellweger, Robin Wright Penn,
Billy Connolly, Patrick Fugit and Noah Wyle. R. Movies 12.
XXX: Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson star
in this athletic spy thriller directed by Rob Cohen. PG-13. Movies
Use the links provided below for specific show times.
Bijou Theater 686-2458
| 492 E. 13th
Cinema World 342-6536
| Valley River Center
Springfield Quad 726-9073
Movies 12 741-1231
| Gateway Mall
Movies before 12:30 are Sat. Sun. only. $1.50 all shows all days.
Cinemark 17 741-1231 |
Releases on Video
Releases subject to change. Available the
Tuesday following date of EW publication, sometimes
archived movie reviews.
Back to the Future: Robert Zemeckis's complete
trilogy - three films from 1985, 1989, 1990 — digitally remastered
and available together for the first time. Michael J. Fox and Christopher
Lloyd star in all three films. PG.
Beach Boys: An American Band (1985) and
Brian Wilson: I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (1995): Both
documentary films on one disc for the right price. The 1985 doc directed
by Malcolm Leo includes performances (including Jimi Hendrix, Paul
McCartney among others) and backstage interviews with the band. The
1995 Brian Wilson doc, directed by Don Was, is an honest reflection
by one of the geniuses of pop music and a brilliant documentary portrait.
Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie: Ernest
Dickerson directs the drama based on a true basketball point-shaving
scandal of the 1990s. Stars David Krumholtz, Tory Kittles, Nicholas
Turturro and Jennifer Morrison. R.
Happy Accidents: Brad Anderson directs this
Independent Film Channel's unclassifiable romantic comedy starring
Marisa Tomei as a contemporary New Yorker and Vincent D'Onofrio as
a man who claims to have come back from the 25th century just to love
Minority Report: Steven Spielberg directs Tom
Cruise in this sci-fi where killers are arrested and convicted before
they commit murder. In 2054, Cruise heads the Pre-Crime unit until
he's accused of the murder of a man he hasn't yet met. Based on a
Philip K. Dick short story, it's one of Spielberg and Cruise's best.
Highest recommendations. PG-13. Online archives.
King of Comedy, The (1982): This strange stalker
drama by Martin Scorcese features top-notch performances by Jerry
Lewis and Robert De Niro. With Sandra Bernhard. DVD also includes
the "making of" documentary and deleted scenes. PG.
Secret Society (2002): Quirky British comedy
about an overweight woman who joins a club of sumo wrestlers, without
telling her husband. NR.
Unfaithful: From director Adrian Lyne (Fatal
Attraction) comes a film that plays on the fears of married people.
Diane Lane plays a married woman who has a steamy affair (Oliver Martinez)
that leads her husband (Richard Gere) to become suspicious. Violence
lurks. Critics lauded Lane's performance. R.
Next week: Adventures of Pluto Nash, Ballistic:
Ecks vs Sever, Trapped and Blood Work.
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