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By Inlander Staff


About Schmidt -- Jack Nicholson delivers a different-than-usual tour-de-force in this seriocomic road movie about a just-retired and just-widowed fellow who tries to make his aloof daughter see that she's marrying the wrong guy -- and getting the wrong in-laws to boot. (ES) Rated: R





Catch Me If You Can -- Spielberg lightens up from recent films in this comedy (with a serious undertone) inspired by the real-life adventures of teenage con man extraordinaire Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio). Chased for years by a no-nonsense FBI man (Tom Hanks), his life probably wasn't as carefree as the film presents it. But this is one good romp. (ES) Rated PG-13





Chicago -- Torn stockings and heavily mascaraed eyes abound in this tale of two music-hall vixens (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ren & eacute;e Zellweger) vying for public attention in the Windy City. Richard Gere shows that he can sing (and tap dance) as the lawyer out to make a buck defending them from murder charges. Otherwise, it's pretty much two-dimensional characters, awkward editing and some decent, if dated, music. But you should still see it on the big screen for the grand cinematography and stylish set design, which are "razzle-dazzling." (Marty Demarest) Rated: PG-13





Daredevil -- Marvel and Fox are positioning Daredevil as a dark, second-level comics hero, hoping to evade comparisons to Spider-Man. With the dozens of Marvel titles in development, they can't all be super-terrific, and Daredevil is like flipping through three or four issues of a comic you don't truly love but kind of enjoy. Ben Affleck acts mostly with his teeth; Jon Favreau is a dull sidekick; Jennifer Garner is a superb action heroine who ought to walk out of this movie and into her own; and Colin Farrell is the loosest of loose cannons as Daredevil's arch-nemesis Bullseye. (RP) Rated: PG-13





Dark Blue -- For those who've seen Training Day, Dark Blue may seem too close to that award-winner, which came from the same writer, David Ayer. Drawn from a short story by the astringent poet of dark-dark L.A., James Ellroy, Ron Shelton's film offers juicy bits for Kurt Russell as a do-it-at-all-costs older cop and Scott Speedwell as his pup of a protege. What sets the film apart is its setting against the backdrop of the days leading up to the 1992 riots that followed the acquittal of the four LAPD officers who beat up Rodney King. (RP) Rated: R





Final Destination 2 -- Logging trucks wreaking fiery havoc all over the freeway... idiots who spill their coffee and try to clean it up while driving... garbage disposals itchy for human flesh... This movie's got it all! Plus teenage hotties and, well, death. Rated: R





Gangs of New York -- Martin Scorsese and innumerable conspirators have struggled for almost three decades to produce Gangs of New York, and yet it is a terrible movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is a puffy cipher as a young man with vengeance on his mind; Daniel Day-Lewis offers epic hamming as the villain. (RP) Rated: R





Gods and Generals -- Nearly four hours long, this sanitized Civil War drama feels like a mini-series transported to the big screen. Factual details abound, but in terms of moviemaking, the film fails. The men are cardboard figures, and the women, while given decent amounts of screen time, have even thinner roles. Even casting good actors like Robert Duvall and Stephen Lang doesn't help. The screenplay tries asking some big questions, but fails to back them up with dramatic or emotional weight, and the result is a lengthy, fretful ramble. (Marty Demarest) Rated: PG-13





The Hours -- The supposedly unfilmable novel by Michael Cunningham becomes a mesmerizing, almost intoxicating movie that tells the stories of one real and two fictional women -- Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) and Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) -- and how they're tied together over the decades by Woolf's book Mrs. Dalloway. An elegant film, featuring one of Kidman's best performances. (ES) Rated PG-13





How to Lose a Guy... -- Golden-haired twinklers Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey square off in supposed urban-sophisticate high-concept Cosmo magazine-style romantic comedy about the rules of dating and the unpredictability of love. (RP) Rated: PG-13





Jungle Book 2 -- Catching up with the 1967 original right where we left it, Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) is bored in his new village -- in spite of every bare necessity being taken care of, including a cute girlfriend, Shanti. He ventures off to see how the jungle is doing without him, and finds that the villainous Shere Khan has been eagerly awaiting his return. Rated: G





Kangaroo Jack -- Kangaroo Jack's brain weighs less than a hard-boiled egg, and yet he's still capable of stealing $100,000 from two hapless New Yorkers. The New Yorkers are a musician (Anthony Anderson) and his best friend (Jerry O'Connell). Rated: PG





The Life Of David Gale -- The title has an authentic ring, but this is a fictional tale of philosophy professor David Gale (Kevin Spacey), a man staunchly against the death penalty who suddenly finds himself arrested, accused of murder and sitting on death row. Spacey nails the part, as does Laura Linney, as his co-crusader. But Kate Winslet, as a reporter who's allowed to interview Gale, again shows her lack of range. Director Alan Parker, a master of issue films, has put together a solid one, wisely leaving questions without answers for the viewer to haggle over. (ES) Rated R





The Lion King -- The ultra-smash Disney hit from 1994 now gets the IMAX treatment, making it bigger, but not necessarily better. The lion cub Simba witnesses the terrifying death of his father, then is convinced by an evil uncle to run away from home without taking the throne that's rightfully his. (ES) Rated G





My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- This is the slobbo American version of Four Weddings and a Funeral, getting no marks for subtlety but laughs from those of us who can laugh at the idea of an obnoxious ethnic family getting into the marital spirit. (RP) RATED: PG





Old School -- A genuinely funny and sometimes sweet gross-out comedy from the director of Road Trip, Old School is the unlikely tale of three overgrown juveniles who establish a frat house in order to make it with coeds; the results are far from sleazy. With a restrained Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, Juliette Lewis and Jeremy Piven as a randy dean. (RP) Rated: R





The Pianist -- Adrien Brody gets his juiciest role to date as the real-life Wladyslaw Szpilman, the Polish concert pianist whose life was shattered, along with the rest of the Jewish population, during the Nazi invasion of his country. But he survived -- by cunning and dumb luck -- although his ordeal reduced him to a starving, wide-eyed animal. Roman Polanski's direction is sure and steady. The film's production design is as stunning as Brody's performance. (ES) Rated R





The Quiet American -- The Graham Greene novel, first made in 1958, gets upgraded in every way in this version with Brendan Fraser and Michael Caine. Set in early '50s Vietnam, while France was still involved and America wasn't, it's the story is of a jaded journalist (Caine) and an ambitious American aid worker (Fraser) and the woman they both want. But it's also about the quickly changing political climate. An excellent, riveting film. (ES) Rated: R





Rabbit Proof Fence -- A magnificently made, moving story of a trio of Aboriginal girls who escape a government camp in 1930s Australia. Everything clicks, from director Philip Noyce's pacing, to Chris Doyle's blue-and-brown palette of light, to Peter Gabriel's score. (RP) Rated: PG-13





2/26/03 The Recruit -- Al Pacino is the CIA recruiter, Colin Farrell is the man he wants to work for the agency. And that's about the only straightforward part of this twisting and turning thriller. Pacino bangs out another great low-key performance; Farrell edges ever closer to stardom. (ES) Rated: PG-13





Shanghai Knights -- One of the odder movie-buddy pairings returns in this sequel to Shanghai Noon, with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson again finding themselves together -- this time in jolly old 19th-century England, where Chan's Chon is searching for the killer of his father. The inventive slapstick fight scenes are almost nonstop, except for a couple of vicious segments that prove how bad the bad guys are. (ES) Rated: PG-13





The Slaughter Rule -- Written and directed by twin brothers Alex and Andrew Smith, The Slaughter Rule relates the story of a high school student, Roy (Ryan Gosling), who finds out just days after his estranged father's death that he has been cut from the football team. Against the stark backdrop of rural Montana, Roy is befriended by the local outcast (David Morse), recruited for an outsider six-man football squad and falls in love with a slightly older woman (Clea Duvall). Rated: R. Playing at the Met Friday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 and 8 pm.





The Two Towers -- This magnificent sequel to last year's magnificent original welcomes back most of the same characters (including a new, improved Gandalf), and features many new ones, with the CGI creation of the hideous and chilling Gollum standing out. This one is darker and more violent than the first, with a more intense and epic approach. (ES) Rated PG-13





Two Weeks Notice -- Hugh Grant plays the sort of charming, shallow cad he's become so adept at, this time as a billionaire who happily lets his lawyer (Sandra Bullock) handle all the troublesome little details, legal or otherwise. Rated: PG-13





& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &





Follow these links for movie times and tickets at & lt;a href= "http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?exid=amc & amp;house_id=6584 & amp;.submit=Search " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & AMC & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & and & lt;a href= "http://www.regalcinemas.com/cgi-bin/theatre_search/getResults.cgi?zip=99202 & amp;submit=Search%21 " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & Regal & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & .





Publication date: 02/20/03

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