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VANTAGE POINT (PG-13) Calling Vantage Point a Rashomon-lite is both an insult to Kurosawa's enigmatic classic and an awfully lazy way of describing director Pete Travis' silly, amateurish thriller. It's true that Vantage Point, like Rashomon, offers multiple accounts of the same key event (a presidential assassination), each from the perspective of a different participant. But the similarities end where they begin, and Vantage Point's structure quickly reveals itself as an annoyingly transparent gimmick for making a rather run-of-the-mill action flick seem far more intriguing than it actually is. The titular points of view belong to a shell-shocked secret service agent (Dennis Quaid), an American tourist with a camera (Forrest Whitaker), a Spanish cop with romantic problems straight out of a telenovela (Edgar Ramirez), the president himself (William Hurt) and a bunch of slimy Islamic terrorists. For all the points of view and frantic running around, though, there's very little going on here — just the same information tediously replaying numerous times from slightly different perspectives without really adding much that's new. Also stars Matthew Fox and James LeGros. 1 star

THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP (PG) A charming coming-of-age fantasy filled with local color, The Water Horse is the legend of the Loch Ness monster recast as E.T. in the Scottish countryside during World War II. Wee Angus (Alex Etel), an overly serious lad pining for his departed dad, brings home a magical egg that promptly hatches a mythical beastie resembling a slightly cuter version of the mutant baby from Eraserhead. The creature soon evolves into a playful puppy-like thing with flippers, and boy and beastie bond as battalions of soldiers station themselves around the area, and chaos ensues within the household. The adults with guns predictably freak out as the titular creature eventually grows to terrifying proportions, momentarily transforming the movie into a dark Iron Giant-esque allegory about death and war, but The Water Horse just misses the mark for that sort of substance. Also stars Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin and David Morrissey. 3 stars

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