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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff


Crash -- This film strongly suggests that everyone in post 9/11 Los Angeles is angry, and that most of the population is pretty darn racist. Matt Dillon is a bad cop who doesn't realize it; Sandra Bullock is a horrible, wealthy shrew of a woman; Ludacris (in the film's best performance, in a film filled with great performances) is a carjacker. Lots of different stories take place in the rich and poor sections, in homes and on the streets. This is wrenching drama, real adult entertainment, constantly building in tension, with powerful payoffs. It's terrifically co-written and directed by Paul Haggis, who wrote Million Dollar Baby. (ES) Rated: R





House of Wax -- Wax is scary. You can't let it reach a boil and it's a bitch to get out of shag carpeting. What's even scarier is people made out of wax (sorry, Madame Tussaud). A hapless crew of college kids (including Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton) has a weird nighttime incident with a voyeuristic trucker. Then, the next day, they wander into a town that surprisingly has no people but one awesome wax museum. You can see where the rest of this is going. Also, Paris Hilton apparently performs some sort of striptease. We'd expect nothing less. Rated: R





Kingdom of Heaven -- Ridley Scott's newest epic is not a bad film -- it has scope and visual splendor and good acting and a compelling story. But neither is it very good, due to too many weak spots. The part about the young Balian (Orlando Bloom) rising so quickly from blacksmith to warrior is a stretch; the reasoning behind the Christians-versus-Muslims battle for Jerusalem circa 1200 is muddled; there isn't a lick of soul in the performance by Eva Green as the love interest; and the vultures hovering above a field of dead bodies are awfully reminiscent of the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. (ES) Rated: R





Publication date: 05/05/05

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