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"The Hunchback. . ." Organ Loft
"The Hunchback. . ." Organ Loft
Deseret Morning News Archives

NEW FILMS FRIDAY

GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE — ** 1/2 — This sequel to the 1994 animated hit is simultaneously mind-blowing and headache-inducing. Japanese with subtitles. Complete review on Page W8. Running time: 99 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief nudity).

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES — *** 1/2 — Not quite the life-changing experience that the real-life trip was, but this biography of Che Guevara is rewarding. Spanish with subtitles. Complete review on Page W5. Running time: 128 minutes. R (profanity, vulgarity, violence, brief sex).

THE SEAGULL'S LAUGHTER — ** 1/2 — A feminist-leaning dark comedy that's wrapped up in the trappings of an Icelandic folk tale. Icelandic with subtitles. Complete review on Page W7. Running time: 100 minutes. Not rated, probable R (nudity, sex, violence, mild profanity, vulgarity, brief gore).

SHALL WE DANCE — ** — Only the dance scenes make this remake tolerable, as Richard Gere plays a man who takes up ballroom dancing. Complete review on Page W6. Running time: 106 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity).

SPIN — ** — James Redford's period drama about an orphan (Ryan Merriman) who takes up flying is too ambitious for its own good. Complete review on Page W4. Running time: 107 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, brief gore).

TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE — ** 1/2 — This outrageous, topical puppet comedy from the "South Park" creators is as hit-and-miss as anything they've done. Complete review on Page W7. Running time: 98 minutes. R (vulgarity, violence, profanity, gore, sex, brief nudity).

ZHOU YU'S TRAIN — ** — As nice as it is to see Chinese actress Gong Li again, her latest drama is a real snore. Mandarin with subtitles. Complete review on Page W6. Running time: 92 minutes. PG-13 (sex, mild vulgarity).

MATINEES

SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED — * 1/2 — Scooby and the gang are back in this only slightly more tolerable but still tasteless sequel. Running time: 88 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity, brief drugs). (Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m., Megaplex 17.)

MIDNIGHT MOVIES

THE EXORCIST — ** —Director William Friedkin's overblown, overrated 1973 horror film about demonic possession hasn't aged well, and it certainly doesn't live up to its billing as "the scariest movie ever." Running time: 121 minutes. R (profanity, gore, violence, vulgarity, drugs). (Tonight and Saturday, Tower.)

LARGE-FORMAT FILMS

BUGS! — *** — This British-made documentary about insects has plenty of "wow" moments. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (violence).

FORCES OF NATURE — *** 1/2 — This large-screen look at the science of natural disasters is much more fun that that sounds. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (violent images).

GRAND CANYON: THE HIDDEN SECRETS — ** 1/2 — The scenery is the real star of Kieth Merrill's documentary short (one of the first IMAX films), which re-creates the Powell expedition. Running time: 35 minutes. Not rated, probable G (violence).

NASCAR 3D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE — ** 1/2 — The racing scenes are great, but the documentary aspects of this large-screen look at stock car racing are not. Running time: 40 minutes. PG (sports-related violence).

ROLLING STONES: AT THE MAX — *** — This feature-length concert film showcasing the veteran British rockers is for fans. Running time: 90 minutes. Not rated, probable PG-13 (vulgarity, brief drugs, mild profanity). (Tonight and Saturday, 10 p.m., Clark Planetarium)

SACRED PLANET — Robert Redford narrates this "Earth-First" documentary that looks at differences between cultures and their relationship with nature. Running time: 40 minutes. G (nothing offensive).

SPACE STATION 3-D — **** — Tom Cruise narrates, but the real stars of this breathtaking 3-D film are the International Space Station crew. Running time: 47 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive). — Ivan M. Lincoln

VOLCANOES OF THE DEEP SEA — This documentary short (narrated by Ed Harris) looks at underwater volcanic eruptions, as well undersea life-forms. Running time: 40 minutes. Not rated, probable G (nothing offensive).

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

BREATHLESS — *** 1/2 — Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 sexy thriller about lovers (Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg) on the run. Black and white. Running time: 87 minutes. Made before ratings, probable PG-13 (violence, sex). (Sunday, 7 p.m., Orson Spencer Hall, University of Utah, free.)

THE BLOB — *** — This goofy 1958 science-fiction thriller, which stars Steve McQueen, is considerably better than the 1988 remake. Running time: 82 minutes. Made before ratings, probable PG (violence). (Today, 4 p.m., Salt Lake City Library, free.)

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS — *** — Tim Burton's quirky, "Frankenstein"-like fairy-tale about the title character (Johnny Depp), is surprisingly sweet, though there are some disturbing shifts in tone. Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Saturday, 2 p.m., Peery's Egyptian Theater, Ogden.)

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 — *** — Michael Moore's documentary about the Bush Administration has some effective moments — when it's not about Moore. Running time: 122 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, brief drugs). (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Brewvies, must be 21 or older.)

THE 2004 GLORIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL — This locally run festival spotlights films intended to "stir the soul, heal the heart and enrich the world." A schedule is available online (www.gloriafilmfest.org). These films have not been rated but may contain some PG-level material. (Through Saturday, Cultural Celebration Center, West Valley City.)

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME — *** 1/2 — Lon Chaney's haunting performance as the tortured title character propels this terrific 1923 version of the Victor Hugo tale. Black and white. Live musical accompaniment. Made before ratings, probable PG (violence). (Tonight, 7:30 p.m., Organ Loft.)

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS — **** — Preston Sturges' 1941 classic comedy, starring Joel McCrea as a filmmaker who disguises himself as a hobo, clearly influenced the Coen brothers. Black and white. Running time: 90 minutes. Made before ratings, probable PG (violence). (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Language and Communication Building, University of Utah, free.)

CONTINUING FILMS

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR— * 1/2 — The two killer alien species face off — with humans in the middle — in this awful sci-fi/thriller. Running time: 100 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore).

BAPTISTS AT OUR BARBECUE — ** — This adaptation of the popular LDS novel, starring Dan Merkley and Heather Beers, could be funnier. Running time: 92 minutes. PG (vulgarity, drug use, mild profanity).

BENJI: OFF THE LEASH! — ** — The pooches are cute enough, but when they're not on-screen this family-adventure film (which was shot locally) suffers. Running time: 101 minutes. (violence, brief drugs).

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY— ** 1/2 — Matt Damon is solid in this action-packed sequel to 2002's "The Bourne Identity." But the jittery camera work is distracting. Running time: 108 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs).

CELLULAR — * 1/2 — As silly as it is, this thriller about a cell-phone user trying to foil a kidnapping is pretty unpleasant. Running time: 94 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, gore).

A CINDERELLA STORY— * 1/2 — This update of the fairy tale is lame, even by star Hilary Duff's usual standards. Running time: 97 minutes. PG (slapstick violence, vulgarity, mild profanity).

COLLATERAL— ** 1/2 — Tom Cruise is unconvincing in this muddled thriller about a hitman who hires a cabbie (Jamie Foxx) — at gunpoint. Running time: 127 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, brief drugs).

THE COOKOUT — * — This comedy wants to say something about family, and cookouts as fellowship, but it's about as spicy as oatmeal. Running time: 85 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, drugs, slapstick violence). — Roger Moore, the Orlando Sentinel

CRIMINAL — *** — The cast (led by John C. Reilly) is terrific in this remake of the foreign-language con-game thriller "Nine Queens." Running time: 87 minutes. R (profanity, violence, vulgarity, ethnic slurs, brief drugs).

A DIRTY SHAME — * — Sadly, filmmaker John Waters' latest outrageous comedy lives down to its title. Running time: 89 minutes. NC-17 (vulgarity nudity, sex, profanity, violence, drugs).

EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING — ** — What's really scary is that Warner Bros. even released this scare-free prequel. Running time: 113 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief partial nudity, brief sex, brief drugs).

FESTIVAL EXPRESS — *** — Music fans will love this documentary about the now-legendary concert-on-wheels, which featured Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. Running time: 90 minutes. R (profanity, drugs, violence).

FIRST DAUGHTER — ** — This drama starring Katie Holmes has a tired screenplay and uneventful direction. Running time: 104 minutes. PG (profanity, vulgarity). — Eleanor O'Sullivan, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press

THE FORGOTTEN — ** —This thriller, starring Julianne Moore as a grieving mother, plays out like a longer, less-effective episode of "The X-Files." Running time: 91 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity).

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS — ** 1/2 — The MTV-style filmmaking takes a little bit away from this otherwise solid football drama starring Billy Bob Thornton. Running time: 117 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, brief gore, racial epithets, sex).

GARDEN STATE — *** 1/2 — "Scrubs" star Zach Braff's first film is a funny and often-poignant comedy about coping to loss and coming to terms with the past. Running time: 102 minutes. R (profanity, drug use, vulgarity, sex, violence, nude artwork).

GOING UPRIVER: THE LONG WAR OF JOHN KERRY — ** — More of a political advertisement for the Presidential candidate than a cohesive, coherent documentary. Running time: 90 minutes. Not rated, probable PG-13 (violence, gore).

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN — *** 1/2 — The third in this series about young wizards may be darker, but it's also funnier and considerably more imaginative. Running time: 142 minutes. PG (violence, brief gore, mild profanity).

HERO — *** 1/2 — This stylish, Oscar-nominated martial-arts film starring Jet Li doesn't skimp on the action. Mandarin with subtitles. Running time: 96 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, brief sex, brief partial nudity).

I, ROBOT — ** — Director Alex Proyas' cerebral sci-fi tale gets really dumb in the second hour. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, brief partial nudity, vulgarity).

LADDER 49 — ** 1/2 — Joaquin Phoenix's terrific performance as a dedicated firefighter elevates this familiar drama. Running time: 115 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity).

LITTLE BLACK BOOK — * 1/2 — Brittany Murphy is at her most irksome in this painfully unfunny romantic comedy. Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity).

MR. 3000 — ** — Despite Bernie Mac's efforts, this baseball comedy is nearly laughless. Running time: 104 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, brief sex).

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE — ** 1/2 — Local filmmaker Jared Hess' comedy about Idaho misfits is quirkier than it is funny. Running time: 86 minutes. PG (violence, vulgarity).

THE NOTEBOOK — ** — Yet another treacly, predictable drama based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams star. Running time: 121 minutes. PG-13 (sex, violence, profanity, brief partial nudity, brief drugs).

THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT — ** — This half-hearted, uninspired sequel to the 2001 sleeper hit wastes the talents of returning stars Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. Running time: 120 minutes. G (slapstick violence).

RAISE YOUR VOICE — * 1/2 — The latest Hilary Duff vehicle — a rip-off of "Fame" — is for devoted fans only. Running time: 103 minutes. PG (mild profanity, violence, mild vulgarity).

RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE — * — A brainless, earsplitting amalgamation of horror and action cliches, made exclusively for video game fans. Running time: 93 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, drugs, nudity). — Christy Lemire, Associated Press

RIDING GIANTS — **** — Stacey Peralta's awe-inspiring surfing documentary looks at the history and future of riding big waves. Running time: 101 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity).

SAINTS AND SOLDIERS — *** — Corbin Allred's solid performance propels this gripping World War II drama, about soldiers trying to survive the Malmedy Massacre. Running time: 91 minutes. PG-13 (violence, gore, mild profanity, ethnic slurs).

SHARK TALE — ** — The majority of the jokes fall flat in this underwater animated comedy starring the voices of Will Smith and Jack Black. Running time: 91 minutes. PG (animated violence, vulgarity).

SHAUN OF THE DEAD — *** — It's certainly not for all tastes, but this gory British horror-comedy has as many outright laughs as it has genuine scares. Running time: 99 minutes. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs, racial epithets).

SHREK 2— *** 1/2 — This improved sequel to the 2001 animated hit is less crude and considerably more clever. Running time: 93 minutes. PG (animated violence, vulgarity).

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW — *** 1/2 — As corny as it sounds, the only word to describe this period science-fiction adventure film is "neat." Running time: 107 minutes. PG (violence, mild profanity, mild vulgarity).

SPIDER-MAN 2 — **** — This even better sequel to the 2002 hit works well as both a character drama and a superhero spectacle. Running time: 129 minutes PG-13 (violence, profanity).

SUSPECT ZERO — * — This unoriginal serial-killer thriller (starring Aaron Eckhart and Ben Kingsley) rips off the style of "Se7en." Running time: 95 minutes. PG (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief drugs, brief nudity).

TAXI — ** 1/2 — It is kind of a kick to watch Queen Latifah constantly outmaneuver and outman Jimmy Fallon. Running time: 97 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence). — Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

THE TERMINAL — *** — Tom Hanks buoys this breezy but inconsistent comedy about a man living in an airport terminal. Running time: 128 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, drugs, violence, vulgarity).

VANITY FAIR — ** — The latest adaptation of the much-filmed novel — starring Reese Witherspoon — is a handsome-looking snore. Running time: 138 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, brief sex, violence, mild profanity, brief partial nudity, brief gore).

THE VILLAGE — *** 1/2 — M. Night Shyamalan's latest isn't especially shocking or top-heavy with unexpected twists. But it's just so darn original and thought-provoking. Running time: 105 minutes. PG-13 (violence). — Jack Garner, Gannett News Service

WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW? — * 1/2 — Part perky educational film, part goofy New Age recruitment effort. Marlee Matlin stars. Running time: 111 minutes. Not rated, probable R (profanity, vulgarity). — Dave Kehr, New York Times News Service

WHITE CHICKS — * — This alleged comedy, starring Marlon and Shawn Wayans as black FBI agents going undercover as rich white girls, in insulting. Running time: 110 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, drugs, racial epithets, brief nudity).

WIMBLEDON — ** 1/2 — Kirstin Dunst and especially Paul Bettany's winning performances elevate this predictable comedy-drama set in the world of competitive tennis. Running time: 100 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, sex, partial nudity, violence).

WITHOUT A PADDLE — ** — The only laughs are guilty laughs in this rafting comedy starring Matthew Lillard and Seth Green. Running time: 95 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, drugs, brief sex).