Control Room -- Control Room goes behind the scenes at CentComm and al-Jazeera satellite television as Baghdad is occupied. A documentary that elevates the estimable conventions of cinema verite, it demonstrates that the director of Startup.com, Jehane Noujaim, is a genuinely empathic filmmaker. It's an exemplar of the quiet, deliberate, observant style that Pennebaker-Maysles cinema verite has always intended to achieve. Vivid viewing, as well as necessary. (RP) At the Met Sept. 20-24 at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m.
Intimate Strangers -- A woman (Sandrine Bonnaire) in a bad marriage needs therapy, but knocks on the door of a tax lawyer (Fabrice Luchini) by mistake, and he's so fascinated by her story, he pretends to be a psychoanalyst. Their relationship gets complicated, but the film remains accessible and even fun because of side stories and the prowess of the two leads. It's an atypical French film in that the drama leads to a kind of upbeat ending. (ES) Rated R. At the Met Sept 15-18 at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m.
Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow -- Fans of old Saturday matinee serials are going to love this throwback to heroes, villains, damsels in distress and cliffhangers. Everyone else will likely be agog at the visual effects going on behind Jude Law (the hero) and Gwyneth Paltrow (the damsel), all of which were created on a computer before any actor stepped in front of a blue screen. Set circa 1940, this is about an evil plot involving kidnapped scientists, gigantic stomping robots, various flying weapons and more. The look is lavish, the mood is one of fantastical fun. It's a groundbreaker. (ES) Rated PG
Mr. 3000 -- Bernie Mac plays a retired player for the Milwaukee Brewers who thinks his career is over until three of his hits are disqualified and he's under the magic 3000-hit mark. Back to home plate, Bernie. Angela Bassett plays a sports reporter and -- you guessed it -- Bernie's love interest. Rated: PG-13
Gold Diggers -- Sometimes National Lampoon gets it right. John Belushi and family vacations are intrinsically and universally hilarious. But sometimes it's all about the lowest common denominator, and in Gold Diggers, National Lampoon hopes to cash in on the viewing public's fear of aging female flesh with the story of two guys who -- hoping to bilk a pair of 70-year-old ladies out of their retirement -- find the tables turned and themselves treated like sexual playthings. Rated: PG-13
Wimbledon -- This would have been a lot more fun had they let John McEnroe play Paul Bettany's character -- a tennis pro with one last shot at Wimbledon (and love) with young racket phenom Kirsten Dunst. Could have called it Being John McEnroe. How come nobody ever comes to us for movie ideas? Rated: PG-13
Publication date: 09/16/04