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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

AUGUST 28, 2000: 

THE CELL. Every now and then someone has the audacity to foist an art film on the mainstream movie-going public, usually to commercially disastrous results. Director Tarsem Singh, wanting to imitate the art-house stylings of Peter Greenaway, the Brothers Quay and Jan Svankmajer, wisely includes just the kind of serial-sex-murderer plot that we Americans love so much. The result is a visually stunning film with a horrifying and often stupid storyline, but parts of it look so good that it may well be worth seeing. Featuring the callipygian Jennifer Lopez and the three Vinces of terror: Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio and the inimitable Pruitt Taylor Vince. --James DiGiovanna


GODZILLA 2000. Wow! I haven't seen something this cheesy since, well, since I was a kid watching Godzilla Vs. Megalon on Monster Chiller Theater. If you're looking for inept plotting, rubbery model monsters, the worst computer-generated images produced in the last 10 years, and lots of miniature cars, buildings, boats and planes getting smashed up by Godzilla, then this is the film for you! Campy high points include the Godzilla Prediction Network, the line "Did you see that flying rock go by?" and the eternal question of why anyone would live in a city that was constantly being ravaged by a giant, radioactive lizard. Still, as the closing words of the film tell us, "Perhaps Godzilla is inside each of us." --James DiGiovanna


HOLLOW MAN. Director Paul Verhoeven gives the horror film genre the T.S. Eliot treatment in this poetic picture of death's other kingdom. A sort of Heart of Darkness told from Mr. Kurtz's perspective, Hollow Man follows self-centered researcher Sebastian Caine (the inimitable, and well-hung, Kevin Bacon) into the darkest regions of his stuffed soul--i.e., he turns invisible. Once invisible, of course, he indulges himself in the sort of thing that any 14-year-old boy would do, like stealing Twinkies and looking at breasts. This doesn't sit well with his colleagues, and some gory violence and nudity naturally ensue. In the hands of another director, this would be just an exploitation film. Verhoeven, however, presents an exploitation film that is also a sly commentary on movies and their treatment of heroes and villains. And like the best exploitation films, Hollow Man never whimpers when it can bang. --James DiGiovanna


SAVING GRACE. A delightful, very English comedy about dope, Saving Grace is kind of Cheech and Chong meets Noel Coward, only without the Cheech and Chong. You know, except for the dope. Grace (Brenda Blethyn, who RULES in this role) is a newly widowed upper-crust Englishwoman who faces a mountain of debt and the imminent loss of her ancestral home. Turning to her skills in horticulture, she hatches a plan with her groundskeeper Matthew (writer/producer Craig Ferguson) to harvest the finest bud that England's fair shores have ever known. This leads to run-ins with a big-league drug dealer (Tchecky Karyo), a town full of tripped out suburbanites, and lots of genuine laughs. --James DiGiovanna


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