*** The Dancer Upstairs -- In his intently cinematic debut as a director in The Dancer Upstairs, based on Nicholas Shakespeare's adaptation of his own sturdy novel, legendary-to-some Steppenwolf actor John Malkovich does few of the things you'd expect from an actor-turned-director and most of the things you'd want from this complicated character. It's a forceful and persuasive variation on one of the most violent pre-Al Qaeda terrorist movements, Sendero Luminoso (The Shining Path), the 1980s Peruvian post-Maoist radical group, and the 1992 capture of Abimael Guzman, their messianic leader. The film was completed before September 11, 2001, and it's a tribute to Malkovich's intellectual curiosity and dramatic sophistication that The Dancer Upstairs continues to have so much to tell us about today's world. With Javier Bardem. Rated: R (RP) At the Met, June 16-18.
* Dumb & amp; Dumberer -- The title says it all. Unfortunately, the title also sums up the sophistication level of the moviemaking. This prequel to Dumb & amp; Dumber introduces Harry and Lloyd as teens, and presents plenty of bad, idiotic, gross-out humor. Kudos to Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen for their dead-on impersonations of the original Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels characters. But the story of them discovering a dastardly money-bilking plan by their principal (Eugene Levy, saddled with awful dialogue) wears out quickly. And keeps going. (ES) Rated PG-13.
*** Hollywood Homicide -- Anyone who's ever wanted to see Harrison Ford precariously balanced on a small pink girls' bicycle gets his wish here. Everyone else gets a goofy comedy with serious, often violent undertones. Ford and Josh Hartnett play cop partners, each of whom has a completely unrelated side job that keeps getting in the way of solving a murder. Lena Olin looks terrific as Ford's love interest, as do a battery of young women as Hartnett's. The story is fun but could use some trimming, especially of the slapstick scenes. (ES) Rated PG-13
Rugrats Go Wild -- It's Tommy Pickles like you've never seen him before... Actually, the entire Pickles family gets marooned on a desert island, and the only way they're likely to get rescued is if the (Wild) Thornberrys can find them. But Nigel Thornberry has suffered a bit of a bump on the head, and it's up to his cartoon family to save the day for Nickelodeon's other cartoon family on their own. Oh, and Bruce Willis lends his voice to the endeavor. Rated: PG
**** 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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Publication date: 06/12/03