* The Butterfly Effect -- Long shelved, The Butterfly Effect premiered at Sundance this week before griming theaters across the country, a callow and cruel grab-bag of time-travel pretension, preteen lust, pedophilia, the threat of jailhouse sodomy (eagerly depicted), Ashton Kutcher's pubic hair and, yes, several scenes teasing at and finally giving us a little Yorkie flamb & eacute;. With Amy Smart, miscast and mistreated yet still game as Kutcher's much-abused love and Eric Stoltz as the dad who videotapes his fornicating children. (RP) Rated: R
** Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! -- Hollywood hunks get a light skewering in this light and frothy comedy about Hollywood hunk Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel), who's losing his boy-next-door image, and the na & iuml;ve young fan (Kate Bosworth) from West Virginia who does what the title suggests. The slight plot involves her sad puppy-eyed boss (Topher Grace), who has a crush on her, and what happens when Mr. Hollywood follows her back home, hoping some of her goodness will rub off on him. Funny stuff from Gary Cole as her father, but the film never digs in or takes off. (E.S.) Rated PG-13
*** Shattered Glass -- Based on the real-life misprisions of Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen), an immature, patently goofy young writer for the New Republic who fabricates stories left and right out of a puppyish, bordering-on-pathological need to please. With careful attention to detail, Christensen embodies the selfish and self-pitying behaviors of this journalistic fraud. Peter Sarsgaard plays Glass's editor, Charles Lane, with a quiet skepticism that dovetails nicely with Christensen's work. (Lane himself was an advisor to the film.) Directed by Billy Ray, and also starring Chloe Sevigny. (RP) Rated: PG-13
**** Don't Miss It *** Worth $8 ** Wait For The Video * Save Your Money
Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted.
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Publication date: 1/22/04