by Inlander Staff * Duplex -- Broad, slapdash black comedy finds Brooklyn yuppies Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore at the mercies of their upstairs tenant, an old woman who drives them bats. Dreams of murder ensue. Throw Mama from the Brownstone, anyone? Aside from top-notch sneeze-spray and vomit gags, it's really tedious. Directed by Danny DeVito (RP) Rated: PG-13
*** Lost In Translation -- The title could refer to the problems of Americans trying to communicate in Japan, or it could be about Bob (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), both temporarily stranded in Tokyo -- he's a fading movie star shooting a whiskey commercial, she's the neglected wife of a workaholic photographer -- who just feel lost. Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides) directs with flash and verve and a dizzying feeling of being on the run. Murray is funny, Johansson is sweet, and the lightly plotted film is warm and wondrous. (ES) Rated R
Luther -- Joseph Fiennes definitely sexes up Protestant history by taking on the role of Martin Luther, who, in the 16th century, dared question the teachings and leadership of the Catholic church and whose writings eventually helped bring about the Protestant Reformation. Rated: PG-13
Pulse -- Back by popular demand, Pulse: The Movie (winner of the first annual IMAX Film Festival "Best of the Fest" Award) would seem to be a large format rip-off of the whole Stomp phenomenon, except that it is in fact a Stomp "odyssey," filmed in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the American Southwest. In addition to the usual sounds generated by brooms, trash cans, old metal sinks and PVC pipe, Pulse captures the ancient song and dance traditions of the world's peoples. Not Rated
*** The Rundown -- Decent, bantering Midnight Run-like bounty hunter comedy stars The Rock, Seann William Scott and one crazy Christopher Walken, hacking and griping their way through the Amazon. Directed by Peter Berg, also starring Rosario Dawson. (RP) Rated: PG-13
**** Swimming Pool -- Charlotte Rampling, in her second collaboration with director Francois Ozon, plays the brittle Sarah Morton, a Ruth Rendell-type English police procedural writer who, feeling burned out, accepts an offer from her publisher, John (Charles Dance), to stay at his house in the South of France in the off-season. She falls into the village's easy pace, drawing on her loneliness. Her reverie is interrupted by John's reckless, earthy daughter Julie (the luminous Ludivine Sagnier), whose brazenness and sexual exploits irritate Sarah to no end. The increasingly dark turns in Sarah's mind soon find their way into her work. Julie makes her deepest splash around the Hockneyesque blue pool in the back yard, in various stages of provocative dishabille. (RP) Rated: R (Showing at the Met Cinema Sept. 29,30, Oct. 1 and Oct. 4)
** Under the Tuscan Sun -- The popular Frances Mayes book about life, food and home improvement in Italy becomes an overly sappy exercise in making plots up to make the non-story seem interesting. Diane Lane is quite good as the divorcee who's sent to Tuscany to jumpstart her life and ends up in a series of deliriously happy circumstances. Even with a few emotional hassles, the film is relentlessly upbeat. It gets to the point where everyone is so damn nice, you almost wish for something to go wrong. (ES) Rated: PG-13
**** Don't Miss It *** Worth $8 ** Wait For The Video * Save Your Money
& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &
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The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.