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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

AUGUST 30, 1999: 

IN TOO DEEP. An interesting if flawed crime film with a feel similar to Belly, starring Omar Epps as an undercover cop who gets, yes, in too deep. Inventive cinematography and compelling performances by Epps, Stanley Tucci and LL Cool J balance out some of the script's flaws, and the need for a bit of editing. -- James DiGiovanna

THE MUSE. Albert Brooks does a Streisand turn by writing, directing and starring in this mediocre movie. Sharon Stone plays a professional muse who Brooks hires to reinvigorate his screen writing career. Andie McDowell plays Brooks' wife, in keeping with the tradition that if you write, direct and star in a movie, you get to cast someone who's a lot prettier than you as your spouse. Lots of fun cameos by the likes of James Cameron, Martin Scorcese and Lorenzo Lamas fail to save this dreary comedy, though there are a good number of laughs in the first half hour. After that, it's just Sharon Stone acting so annoying that you want to reach through the screen and smack her. -- James DiGiovanna

TEACHING MRS. TINGLE. Three students kidnap a diabolically mean teacher in a scheme to--oh, who cares. What should have been a sly, dark comedy by teen Scream king Kevin Williamson winds up a lax and lifeless effort, despite a few bright spots. Katie Holmes and Barry Watson are fun to look at as the teens, and Helen Mirren is chillingly evil as Mrs. Tingle. Unfortunately, they don't have enough to work with to save this from being a bit on the boring side. -- James DiGiovanna

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN. This isn't even bad in a fun way -- it's just bad. Let's look at the rap sheet: a middle-aged, blue-haired "punk" hacker who spouts madcap lines like "That's gotta hurt"; painfully loud gunfire made more excruciating by the generic techno-metal on the soundtrack; a completely gratuitous visit to a raunchy strip club; a minority sidekick/cypher who exists solely to sacrifice herself in a lame finale; and bald villains who crack macho one-liners after cracking people's skulls. Stay as far away from Universal Soldier as you can. -- Greg Petix

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