Outtakes

Short reviews of movies playing at local theaters

Amazing Journeys (PG) IMAX films are about scale, size — from the unfathomably huge (the oceans, the cosmos themselves) to the microscopically small — and this latest IMAX production gives us a little bit to look at from both ends of the spectrum. Amazing Journeys examines the migration habits of various creatures.


American Pie 2 (R) You can see the gags coming from Ypsilianti. The characters are as thin as rice paper, the acting is either terminally bland or hopelessly over the top, and — what's more — AP2 is stingy on the T&A shots. The gang of wacky dudes is back, this time spending summer break at a beach house. Guess what? There are all sorts of sexual hijinks. For real.

—Eric Snider


America's Sweethearts (PG-13) John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones play an estranged married couple whose teaming on hit movies is about to end with one last sci-fi flick. Also stars Julia Roberts.

—Eric Snider


Apocalypse Now Redux (R) Spectacular, deeply sensual, provocative and pretentious, the inscrutable heart of darkness in Apocalypse Now is as daunting and formidable as ever — and perhaps, just perhaps, a wee bit more understandable — in the extended, three-hour-and-16 minute edit of Coppola's legendary film, retitled Apocalypse Now Redux. This new, even longer version of the director's seminal Vietnam war opus basically restores four scenes that were cut from the original 1979 release, all of which are interesting, but none indispensable. The additional scenes include some expanded horseplay between Martin Sheen and his boatmates, another rant by Marlon Brando and a strangely lyrical but ultimately unfocused interlude with a group of apparently shell-shocked Playboy playmates. The centerpiece of Redux, and the one new scene that might possibly be considered crucial, involves an extended and curiously talky detour to a French plantation in which a virtual history lesson on Indochina is delivered. Other than that, this is still basically the same old Apocalypse you know and love and maybe hate, only a little longer. The bottom line is that the new material would have probably been better relegated to the status of bonus deleted scenes on some future special edition DVD. Also stars Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms and Dennis Hopper. Held over at Channelside Cinemas. Call theater to confirm.


Captain Corelli's Mandolin (R) Romance blooms on a ridiculously beautiful Greek island during World War II when a ridiculously sensitive Italian soldier (Nicolas Cage) and a ridiculously strong-willed Greek woman (Penelope Cruz) are forced to share the same home. The movie is sometimes fun to look at, but we never for a moment believe we're watching anything other than highly paid movie stars putting on a show.


Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (G) Multi-media performance artists/acrobats/magicians Cirque du Soleil find their way to the big screen — the really big screen — in this visually spectacular IMAX 3-D experience. The film's astonishing imagery constitutes an authentic document of Cirque du Soleil in motion, as well as a beautifully poetic tribute to the glory of the human body; the supremely graceful synchronized swimming, trapezing and other gymnastics of these superb athletes are far closer to ballet than to any traditional circus act. The movie's big mistake lies in its attempt to tie the performances together by framing the whole thing as some sort of half-baked allegory about the stages of life (we even get a narrator, a little older in each scene, who stands around gazing at everything in open-mouthed, Spielbergian wonder). As might be expected with a movie called Journey of Man, there's a fairly high pretense factor here, almost all of which is a by-product of the boy-to-man narrator and his unintentionally dopey and completely unnecessary voice-overs. Opens Oct. 5 at IMAX Channelside.


Curse of the Jade Scorpion (PG-13) Woody Allen stars as an insurance investigator looking into a series of heists it turns out that he himself has committed while under the influence of hypnotic suggestion. That's about all there is to the film, other than the combative, bantering relationship Allen's character enjoys with an efficiency expert played by Helen Hunt. Also stars Dan Aykroyd, Charlize Theron and David Ogden Stiers.


The Deep End (R) Less a whodunit than a whydunit, The Deep End features Tilda Swinton as Margaret Hall, an ordinary California housewife who, in the imperceptible blink of an eye, passes from perfect, almost invisible normalcy to a state of dread when she finds herself an accomplice to what appears to be a terrible crime. The Deep End is, in any number of ways, a letter-perfect 21st Century update of classic noir, albeit one that's been transposed from the nocturnal city to the sun-dappled countryside.

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