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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff

Alexander -- Oliver Stone's interpretation of the legendary figure stars a bleached-blonde Colin Farrell as the Macedonian king, who, by the age of 25 had pretty much conquered the ancient world. If the trailers are any indication, things get pretty hot, hot, hot in the Mediterranean, as Farrell and co-star Angelina Jolie circle and hiss at one other like alley cats. Rated: R

Christmas with the Kranks -- The John Grisham novel Skipping Christmas transfers sloppily to the screen, spreading its holiday "joy" with a story of recent empty-nesters (Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis) who decide to forget about Christmas for one year -- including mindless celebrations with everyone on their ornament-happy block -- to go on a cruise. But the neighborhood is not happy about this, and the film starts to turn from laughs to threats. Even the slapstick comic sequences don't work under the mistimed direction of studio head Joe Roth, who should stick to producing. (ES) Rated PG

Enduring Love -- Adapted by Joe Penhall from an Ian McEwan novel, Enduring Love is a little microcosm of the author's recurring theme of the life of the rational mind. Filmed in a rather minimalist style, the film tells the story of a stalker's effect on a mature relationship. What we witness is the steady deterioration of Joe (Daniel Craig) and Claire's (Samantha Morton) relationship and the unnerving boldness of the obviously unbalanced Jed (wonderfully portrayed by Rhys Ifans, who was also so good in Michell's Notting Hill). It's a story that informs but never elucidates. (Marjorie Baumgarten) Rated: R

Sideways -- Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) are two pals who go on a West Coast wine-tasting tour, just before Jack is to get married and Miles is to find out if his novel is being published. Miles is an unhappy sweetheart of a guy who knows his wine. Jack is a carefree, womanizing cad who will drink anything put in front of him. They both meet women on the road (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh), and the film jumps back and forth between vibrant comedy and emotional distress, all the while offering great insight on the joys of wine. (ES) Rated R

Publication date: 1125/04

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