Directed by Jon Amiel. Written by Cooper Lane and John Rogers. Producers,
Cooper Lane, David Foster, Sean Bailey. Cinematography, John Lindley.
Production design, Philip Harrison. Editor, Terry Rawlings. Costumes,
Dan Lester. Visual Effects Supervisor, Gregory L. McMurry. Composer,
Christopher Young. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo,
Stanley Tucci and Tchéky Karyo, with D.J. Qualls, Richard Jenkins,
Bruce Greenwood and Alfre Woodard. PG-13. 135 minutes.
Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) and Beck Childs (Hilary Swank) try to figure
out who's boss and how to save the ship.
A howler from start to finish, The
Core is a movie to enjoy for its stupendous stupidity. Its premise
is such nonsense that it makes disaster flicks like Twister
look positively brainy. But here's the good thing: If you are worried
about the state of the world we live in — and who isn't? —
this foolishness will take your mind off your troubles for most of
a couple of hours. Guaranteed.
The first pseudo-scientific crapola you're asked to
accept as realistic is that the Earth's inner core has just stopped
rotating. The planet's electromagnetic field begins to fail in dramatic,
sudden waves of catastrophic events. Lest you think you have wandered
into a remake of Hitchcock's The Birds, one of the first mini-cataclysms
is a scene in London's Trafalgar Square with dead pigeons careening
from the skies with such violence that tourists, for gods' sake, are
pummeled and left addled and panicked.
Next, a tousled-haired, brown-sweater-wearing science
professor, geophysicist Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart), lectures away
in a hall empty but for a few students. Suddenly, two stone-faced
refugees from Men in Black interrupt class. He is to go with
them. Turns out he and his buddy, French atomic weapons expert Sergei
Leveque (Tchéky Karyo), must "pass a test" devised by spooks
in suits. Keyes correctly solves the mystery of why a number of people
suddenly dropped dead at the same instant in Boston. But because this
movie has so few moments of real discovery, I will leave it to you
to be awed by his reasoning.
Meanwhile, a nail-biting re-entry drama plays out
in the skies. Onboard the space shuttle, the heroine of the day is
Major Rebecca "Beck" Childs (Hilary Swank). Her commander, Robert
Iverson (Bruce Greenwood), ignores her until almost the last second,
at which time she saves the ship and crew from fiery death. Then she's
reprimanded by NASA and out of a job.
So far, the body count is only a few dead pigeons.
Try to imagine a world-wide calamity of such proportions in which
no one dies! That's like hoping that no one gets killed in a war.
The military soon gets involved. Gen. Thomas Purcell
(Richard Jenkins) summons Keyes and Leveque to Washington to meet
with Childs and Iverson as well as a truly outrageous, dandy scientist,
Conrad Zimsky (Stanley Tucci). They travel to remote Utah to meet
with Zimsky's estranged colleague, "Braz" Brazzleton (Delroy Lindo).
Braz has created a monster machine that can bore holes deep into rock.
It's made of a super metal he calls Unobtainium. This is the first
overt example of a dry-as-bone humor that the "crew" may be in on.
Here, the film could have taken a wild, satirical
direction, as much of the laughable dialogue suggests would be a reasonable
thing. But director Jon Amiel sticks with the plan, and a deadly serious
adventure drama ensues. Once the "terranauts" are launched on their
trip to Earth's inner core, you can only pray, in vain, for a rapid
conclusion to the whole charade. A number of preposterous heroics
and noble sacrifices later, you can still count on the dialogue for
a few chuckles.
The real heroes of the film are the actors, who sacrifice
their dignity and risk their reputations to mouth inane sentences
that should never have been spoken. Is the film a metaphor for the
unexpressed anger and anxiety just below the surface in today's society?
I don't know. But as Zimsky says, "Three months, and we're back in
the stone age. A year, and we're fried."
Now playing at Cinemark and Cinema World, The Core
is heartily recommended for its irrelevance to reality. Or not.
Films open the Friday following
date of EW publication unless otherwise noted. See
archived movie reviews.
Charly: Mormon comedy, drama, romance
based on a novel by Jack Weyland stars Heather Beers as Charly and
Jeremy Elliot. PG. Movies 12.
City of God: Rio de Janeiros is home to one
of the most notorious slums in the world, called City of God. Based
on the true story of a young man from the 'hood whose photographs
may be his only way out. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, this acclaimed,
unflinchingly brutal film stars Matheus Nachtergaele. Not for the
faint-hearted. R. Bijou.
City Zero (Gorod Zero): Directed by Karen Shakhnazarova,
film is a an absurdist comedy about a town "still frozen under the
spell of Stalinism." At 7:15 pm on 4/9 in 115 Pacific Hall, UO campus.
In Russian with English subtitles. Free.
Darkness Falls: This horror thriller directed
by Jonathan Liebesman is about the Tooth Fairy's revenge. One viewer
wrote on the IMDB: "God, talk about wretched and boring..." PG-13.
Kristin Lavransdatter (Norway, 1995): Based
on best-selling trilogy about life in medieval Norway, film is directed
by Liv Ulmann. At 5:30 pm on 4/8 in International Resource Center,
EMU, UO campus. Norwegian, with English subtitles. Free.
Man Apart, A: If you've seen the trailer, you
know that Vin Diesel is an undercover cop you don't want to mess with,
especially after some sorry drug dealer scum breaks into his home.
Violent revenge flick. R. Cinemark. Cinema World.
O Auto da Compadecida (Portugal): At 7:30 pm
on 4/8 in 115 Pacific Hall, UO campus. Free.
Phone Booth: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland,
Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes and Radha Mitchell star in Joel Schumacher's
thriller. R. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Rosewood (1997): Set in a small black
town in Florida where lynchings and race riots erupted in 1923, film
stars Ving Rhames, Jon Voight, Don Cheadle, Esther Rolle and Elise
Neal and is directed by John Singleton. Set was visited by people
who, as children, waited for help to come while hiding out in the
snake-infested swamps. R. At 7 pm on 4/9 in 180 PLC, UO campus. Free.
Spirited Away: Re-issue of 2002 Academy Award-winner
for best animated feature. 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 learns
to take care of herself after her parents mysteriously change. Not
just for kids, it's too scary for preschoolers. Very highest recommendations.
PG. Online archives. Cinema World.
Taxi Driver (1976): Martin Scorsese's
stunning tale of a psychotic New York taxi driver stars Robert De
Niro, Jodie Foster and Harvey Keitel. Unforgettable urban nightmare,
brilliant performances in this restored re-release. Travis Bickell
(Robert DeNiro) turns violent avenging the exploitation of an 11-year-old
prostitute (Jodie Foster). Co-stars Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks,
Peter Boyle and Harvey Keitel. R. .LateNite Bijou.
What a Girl Wants: Teen Amanda Bynes is "trying
to fit in, born to stand out." She wants a fairy tale relationship
with her absent dad and is tired of living with her unconventional
mom, played by Colin Firth and Kelly Preston. Oliver James plays her
love interest. PG. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Agent Cody Banks: Teen action adventure
stars Frankie Muniz as an undercover CIA operative, Angie Harmon as
his boss, and Hilary Duff as girlfriend. PG. Cinemark.
Basic: War thriller stars Samuel L. Jackson
as an elite commando officer who disappears on a mission and John
Travolta as a rogue DEA agent. Also stars Connie Nielsen, Giovanni
Ribisi, Taye Diggs; directed by John McTiernan. R. Cinema World. Cinemark.
Bringing Down the House: Domestic comedy starring
Steve Martin and Queen Latifah is directed by Adam Shankman. PG-13.
Catch Me If You Can: Steven Spielberg and Leonardo
DiCaprio have fun in this tale of Frank Abagnale Jr., an actual con
man of the 1960s who successfully passed himself off as a pilot, a
doctor and a college professor and forged millions in checks before
he was 21. Christopher Walken plays his father, and Tom Hanks plays
the F.B.I. agent determined to capture him. Highly recommended. 2002
Academy Award nom for John Williams' original score, Walken. PG-13.
Movies 12. Online archives.
Chicago: Broadway spectacular directed by Rob
Marshall stars Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones as killer
dames behind bars who compete for tabloid coverage. With Queen Latifah,
John C. Reilly and Richard Gere. 2002 Academy Awards for best picture,
supporting actress Zeta-Jones, art direction, sound, editing and costumes.
PG 13. Cinemark. Cinema World. Online archives.
Core, The: Jon Amiel directs this
adventure to the center of the earth. Scientists played by Aaron Eckhart,
Hilary Swank and Bruce Greenwood journey deep into the earth to detonate
a device to reactivate the planet's core. An unintentional comedy,
it's a great break from reality. PG-13. Cinemark. Cinema World. See
review this issue.
Daredevil: Marvel Comic's Man Without Fear
is directed by Mark Steven Johnson. Stars Ben Affleck as the masked
vigilante, Jennifer Graner, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell,
Joe Pantolliano, Jon Favreau and David Keith. PG-13. Movies 12.
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying
and Love the Bomb: Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic, quintessential
Cold-War black comedy stars Peter Sellers in three roles; Sterling
Hayden as an unforgettable crackpot general; Slim Pickens as a bomb-riding
pilot; George C. Scott as a very nervous militarist; and Keenan Wynn
at his most hapless. Written by Terry Southern, Peter George and Kubrick.
NR. LateNite Bijou.
Dreamcatcher: Buddy reunion camping trip horror
film from Lawrence Kasdan, based on Stephen King's book, stars Morgan
Freeman, Donny Wahlberg, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Lee,
Thomas Jane and Tom Sizemore. R. Cinemark.
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. Movies 12. Online
Head of State: Chris Rock directs, co-writes
and stars in this tale of a D.C. alderman who runs for the presidency.
Also stars Bernie Mac, Dylan Baker, Robin Givens, James Rebhorn. PG-13.
Cinema World. Cinemark.
Hot Chick: Verbally abusive cheerleader wakes
up in the body of Rob Schneider. Yikes! Directed by Tom Brady. PG-13.
Hunted, The: Tommy Lee Jones plays a retired
special-ops trainer and Benicio Del Toro is his former student, now
an ace assassin gone bonkers. Directed by William Friedkin (The
Exorcist). R. Cinemark.
Just Married: This honeymoon from hell is directed
by Shawn Levy and stars Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy and Christian
Kane. PG-13. Movies 12.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Directed
and re-imagined by Peter Jackson, part two of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy
continues. New characters, a surprise return and great battles. Director
Peter Jackson's second masterpiece. Very highest recommendations.
2002 Academy Awards for sound editing, visual effects. PG-13. Cinemark.
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. Movies 12.
Old School: From Road Trip, Luke
Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn try to recapture the fun of
their college years by starting their own off-campus frat house. R.
Pianist, The: Winner of the Cannes Best Picture
award, this critically acclaimed film is based on the life of Wladyslaw
Szpilman, a Polish Jew, composer and pianist. When the Nazis invade,
he finds salvation in his art. Directed, produced by Roman Polanski,
it stars Adrien Brody as Szpilman. Highest recommendations. 2002 Academy
Awards to Polanski, Brody and Ronald Harwood's adapted screenplay.
R. Cinemark. Online archives.
Piglet's Big Movie: Disney animated film features
the whole Winnie-the-Pooh gang looking for Piglet, who has disappeared.
Songs by Carly Simon. G. Cinemark.
Punch-Drunk Love: Paul Thomas Anderson's comedy
is about an LA businessman (Adam Sandler) who blindly follows a woman
he loves (Emily Watson) to Hawaii. Also stars Luis Guzman and Philip
Seymour Hoffman. Highly recommended for excellent performances. R.
Movies 12. Online archives.
Quiet American, The: Directed by
Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence), this adaptation of Graham Greene's
novel is set in 1952 Saigon during the French Indochina War. Michael
Caine plays an English journalist; also stars Brendan Fraser. 2002
Academy Award nomination for Caine. Highly recommended. R. Bijou.
Rabbit-Proof Fence: Based on the true 1931
story of three young, Australian Aboriginal girls who are kidnapped
but escape white control to make a 1,200 mile-trek home while pursued
by authorities. Directed by Phillip Noyce, this courageous film stars
Everlyn Sampi, David Gulpilil and Kenneth Branagh. A true walkabout,
it has beautiful performances, empathic direction and dramatic cinematography
by Christopher Doyle. Highest recommendations. PG. Bijou. Online
Tears of the Sun: Bruce Willis is a Navy SEAL
sent to rescue a US citizen who runs a mission, but she (Monica Bellucci)
won't leave her charges. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. R. Cinemark.
Trials of Henry Kissinger, The: The facts in
Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki's compelling, thought provoking documentary
film are based on declassified government documents. The opinions
are largely based on a long association with these facts. Interviews
with a large number of Kissinger apologists as well as many who have
written about him, including Christopher Hitchens who calls Kissinger
"a war criminal." Very highest recommendations. NR. Bijou. Online
Twenty-fifth Hour: Spike Lee's film
tracks the regrets of a mid-level heroin dealer on his last day of
freedom and explores the limits of friendship. Edward Norton has only
24 hours before he's due in prison for the next seven years. Also
stars Rosario Dawson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Anna Paquin
and Brian Cox. Highly recommended for its realistic depiction of regret,
which suffuses the film and raises it to a higher level. R. Movies
12. Online archives.
Two Weeks Notice: Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock
star as a very, very rich man and his lawyer. When she quits, and
he replaces her with Alicia Witt, she reconsiders. Written and directed
by Marc Lawrence (The Out-of-Towners). PG-13. Movies 12.
View From the Top: Bruno Barreto directs this
1960s era comedy about a girl's dream of becoming a first-class international
flight attendant. Stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark
Ruffalo and Candice Bergen. PG-13. Cinemark.
Wild Thornberrys, The: Animated film about
a girl who talks to and understands animals. She goes to Africa with
her parents, nature filmmakers, and her best friend, a chimp. Voices
include Lacy Chabert, Rupert Everett, Marisa Tomei, Tim Curry, Brenda
Blethyn, Lynn Redgrave and Obba Babatunde. Directed by Jeff McGrath
and Cathy Malkasian. 2002 Academy Award nomination for Paul Simon's
original song. PG. Movies 12.
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
sooner. See archived
Dream for an Insomniac (1998): Stars
Jennifer Aniston, Ione Skye as aspiring actresses and MacKenzie Astin
as the guy. Uninspired, generic offering by newcomer Tiffanie DeBartolo.
Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets: Directed
by Chris Columbus, with a bit more ingenuity than the first Harry
Potter. Here Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) try to uncover a dark force terrorizing
Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. G. DVD, VHS available
April 11. Online archives.
Moonlight Mile: Brad Silberling directs
this semi-autobiographical film about a young man (Jake Gyllenhaal)
who's adopted by the grieving parents (Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon)
of his girlfriend who was killed. Then he falls in love again. With
Ellen Pompeo, Dabney Coleman, Richard T. Jones and Holly Hunter. R.
Star Trek: Nemesis: Captain Jean-Luc
Picard and the crew of the Enterprise face an alien race. 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. Online archives.
Three Colors: Outstanding trilogy
of films directed by the late, great Krzysztof Kieslowski, now available
on DVD as a multi-disc set, with many extras. Very highly recommended.
Blue (1993): Juliette Binoche stars as a young woman who loses
her husband and daughter in a car wreck and struggles to overcome
her grief. One of the best films of 1993. R. White: Follows
the foibles of a would-be entrepreneur from Poland who lives part-time
in Paris until his wife divorces him. He returns to Poland, which
is reeling from decades of Soviet rule, and devotes himself to revenge.
Very entertaining, very interesting film. Unrated. Red: A young
woman (Irene Jacob) living in Paris meets a voyeuristic older man
(Jean-Louis Trintignant), who is a retired judge. They develop a moving
friendship and share an entwined destiny. Superlative cinema. R.
Three Wishes for Cinderella (Czech Republic,
1973): Live action 85-minute feature film directed by Vaclav Vorlicek
is a retelling of the fairytale. But this Cinderella, played by Carola
Braunbackova rides horses and seizes the reins of her own future.
DVD and VHS through Facets Video.
Next week: Absolute Beginners, Castle in the Sky,
Drumline, Kiki's Delivery Service, Lambada and Spirited Away.