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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

SEPTEMBER 7, 1999: 

THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE. Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron star as a couple who are so beautiful that one of them has to go to outer space and get taken over by a weird alien life form and then impregnate the other one to produce an otherworldly entity who threatens the very fabric of our society. In the sequel, the world's most beautiful space alien grows up and hatches a diabolical plot to become the world's most powerful supermodel. A chilling parable for our ecologically and aesthetically unsound era. -- James DiGiovanna

BOWFINGER. This would be a great comedy if it only had funny parts. Instead, it has Stars and Ideas, which are important, but don't quite make a film. Steve Martin is Bowfinger, a fourth-rate director who wants action hero Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) to be in his movie. Lacking the cash needed to hire Ramsey, Bowfinger comes up with a scheme worthy of Lucy Ricardo: he has actors run up to Ramsey in the street and say their lines while secretly filming the whole thing. A great idea, but poor execution, paper-thin characters and a lack of actual jokes make Bowfinger as limp as Bob Dole without his medication. -- James DiGiovanna

DUDLEY DO-RIGHT. In real life, the Canadian Mounted Police are a scary, ATF-like government agency. In Dudley Do-Right, they're represented by dopey, happy do-gooder Dudley, who must conquer the likes of master-villain Snidely Whiplash while saving the ever-imperiled Nell Fenwick. Starring dopey, happy, do-gooder Brendan Fraser, master thespian Alfred Molina, and the ever-shapely Sarah Jessica Parker. -- James DiGiovanna

MICKEY BLUE EYES. A romantic comedy that's more twisted than a Tarantino film, Mickey Blue Eyes features the beautiful Hugh Grant and the bizarre Jeanne Tripplehorn as fiancées who find trouble in her father's mob connections. If you think torture and murder are funny in a lighthearted sort of way, don't miss Mickey Blue Eyes. If you're one of those PC weenies who think sadistic violence is no laughing matter, then you probably won't want to stop off to see this film on your way to hugging the stranded whale trees that fight pollution and war. -- James DiGiovanna

OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE. The Farrelly Brothers (with the help of director Michael Corrente) script their first "sensitive" film about a teenage stoner (Shawn Hatosy) wasting away in Rhode Island with his hardcase dad (well-played by Alec Baldwin) until he finds young love and a sense of purpose at a strict prep school. Before you start yawning, don't forget that these are the same filmmakers who put spooge in Cameron Diaz's hair (or at least they were the first ones to film it). The Farrellys cut this typical coming-of-age fodder with barf shots and vicious humor the way some punk bands will cannily dank up a slow ballad with rough vocals and seedy lyrics. Sure it's an easy, calculated ploy, but it keeps the story's sap from hardening. It's a rare movie that exploits a cute, wheelchair-ridden younger brother for cheap laughs instead of maudlin sympathy. Though it's not as hilarious as the Farrellys' previous efforts, it's still a funny, likable film. -- Greg Petix

THE 13TH WARRIOR. In an odd take on the Beowulf legend, an Arab diplomat (Antonio Banderas) accompanies 12 Vikings as they assist a Nordic kingdom plagued by a horde of inhuman attackers. Though co-directors John McTiernan and Michael Crichton skillfully depict the sights and textures of medieval Europe, the movie is stultifyingly dull. Banderas doesn't help with his weak performance, which is endemic of his work since he adopted a lame, "macho" persona after leaving Spain for Hollywood (it's hard to believe that he's the same actor who was so engaging in all of those Pedro Almodovar films). -- Greg Petix

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