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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff


Vanity Fair -- The William Thackeray novel gets another film treatment, this time with Reese Witherspoon quite good as Becky, the smiling, sneering, charismatic social climber in 19th-century London. The lengthy, multi-leveled story is wicked in its serious, satirical shots at class structure, and sometimes just wickedly funny. Jim Broadbent, Bob Hoskins and Gabriel Byrne play small, memorable roles. Rhys Ifans shows a terrific dramatic side. Superb costumes and production design along with sumptuous cinematography. (ES) Rated PG-13





Wicker Park -- Josh Hartnett plays the role of Matthew, a young Chicago investment banker who becomes obsessed with a woman he believes to be his long-lost love after eyeing her in a cafe. Trouble is, he's currently engaged to someone else. But that's piffle compared with getting to the bottom of this riddle. So he follows the woman home and begins a search for the truth that may very well lead him into danger. And what would a thriller be without a little danger? Rated: PG-13





The Cookout -- Gangster rap producer and label CEO Lance Rivera directed and singer/sometime actress Queen Latifah co-wrote this latest attempt to cash in on black urban culture. Quran Pender stars as Todd Anderson, a pro basketball hopeful recently snatched up by the New Jersey Nets for a cool $30 mil. In order to assure his family and old friends that he hasn't grown too big for his britches, Todd decides to keep things "real" by throwing a barbecue and inviting everyone in his life to the party. Wackiness ensues. That's pretty much it -- except that Farrah Fawcett has a cameo, and rapper Ja Rule plays a character named "Bling Bling." Rated: PG-13





Paparazzi -- Ex-TV director/hair stylist Paul Abascal (you loved his trademark coiffures in Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Predator 2 and Judge Dredd) makes his big screen directorial debut with a tale of extreme irritation and payback. Usually likeable actors Cole Hauser and Robin Tunney star in this thriller about an irate celebrity (Hauser) who decides to get even with an intrusive photographer (Tom Sizemore) after the pesky guy mercilessly harasses him and causes an automobile accident that nearly kills his wife. Rated: PG-13





We Don't Live Here Anymore -- A sizzling sexual liaison between two close friends threatens to tear apart their respective marriages and imperil the security of their children in this smart, well-acted drama set in the Pacific Northwest and starring Naomi Watts, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern and Peter Krause. As Bob & amp; Carol & amp; Ted & amp; Alice did three decades ago, the film examines the complexities of modern sexual and emotional relationships by focusing on the intimate lives of two couples who must sort out a landslide of emotion that follows in the wake of their adulterous affairs. Rated: R





Publication date: 09/02/04

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