OPENING

FORCES OF NATURE--
Factoria,Grand Alderwood,Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11
GOD SAID, "HA!"--
Egyptian
THE HARMONISTS--
Broadway Market
THE KING AND I--
Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11,Redmond Town Center
RAVENOUS--
Factoria, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Varsity
TRUE CRIME--
Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree
VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD--
Grand Illusion


REPERTORY & REVIVAL


ANDY WARHOL'S EARLY FILMS--Seattle Art Museum
BIGGER THAN LIFE--
Grand Illusion
THE BOYS IN THE BAND--
The Little Theater
FANTASTIC PLANET--Egyptian
FRENCH AVANT GARDE CINEMA--Cinema 18
INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE--Speakeasy
JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL--King Cat Theater
THE KNACK AND HOW TO GET IT--Grand Illusion
THE MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART--Seattle Art Museum
MEET FILMMAKER MARILYN FREEMAN--Richard Hugo House
OSCAR NIGHT PARTIES--Paragon Restaurant & Bar, Planet Hollywood
ROBERT BRESSON FILM SERIES--
Grand Illusion
STRANGE PARALLEL--
Egyptian
TALK CINEMA--
Pacific Place Cinema


COMING SOON


MARCH 26--The Mod Squad, Doug's First Movie, Twin Dragons, Go!, Ed TV, The Last Days
MARCH 31--10 Things I Hate About You, Matrix
APRIL 2--Foolish, The Out of Towners, A Walk on the Moon, Relax--It's Just Sex


MOVIES & EVENTS

20 DATES--
After more than a decade dreaming of "making it" in Hollywood, and one nasty divorce, Myles Berkowitz considers his career and his love life to be his two greatest failures. In an all-or-nothing effort, he decided to bet it all on 20 Dates, a movie that would follow him as he went on 20 different dates. Berkowitz pretends to be a regular guy looking for love, but it becomes increasingly obvious he's a self-involved guy who's desperate to break into Hollywood. A "comedy" that utilizes real footage, not a documentary, the movie flaunts an impressive amount of Berkowitz's ego, not to mention audience manipulation. There's one or two heartfelt scenes, but they seem accidental, at best. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

200 CIGARETTES--A host of "wacky" characters searching for love and adventure on New Year's Eve, 1981, in New York City. Basically, a never-ending sitcom (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Place 11

8MM--Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage) is a private investigator hired to prove an 8mm snuff film is fake. He descends into a Hollywood vision American pornography. This movie is stupid. There is no substance, no context, and what's worse, Cage gives another minimalistically boring performance. (Andy Spletzer) Pacific Place 11

*AFFLICTION--The snow-shrouded, economically depressed town of Lawford, New Hampshire, is where Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) has lived his entire life: a childhood dominated by an abusive, drunken father (James Coburn), and a young adulthood of running around and getting in trouble. Now, on the depressing side of middle-age, he's Lawford's police officer; a job that entails little more than writing up traffic violations and guarding the crosswalk when the school bus empties. When a big-shot businessman dies in a hunting accident, Wade suspects murder, and he clings to that belief with the exultant certainty of a desperate man. Coburn's brutal patriarch is a sight to behold, Willem Dafoe perfectly captures the despair of the quiet man unwilling to own up to the demons he so easily recognizes in his older brother, and then there's Nolte. There are, perhaps, better actors around today, but after two viewings of Affliction, I'm convinced that this is one of the greatest performances ever captured on film. (Bruce Reid) Meridian 16, Metro

ALASKA: SPIRIT OF THE WILD--More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

ANALYZE THIS--Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) is a New York mobster with problems: the pressure is killing him! With a big meeting of all the New York families coming up, he needs to get rid of his anxiety about [insert Italian stereotype here]. Enter Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal), a Jewish family therapist with [insert Jewish stereotype here]. Vitti wants Sobel to help him. Sobel just wants Vitti to leave him alone. What are they both to do? Analyze This is a [insert sarcastic film reviewer comment here], with a few laughs, but never anything special. Basically, it's exactly what you'd expect. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Northgate, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

*ANDY WARHOL'S EARLY FILMS--Special presentation of Warhol's early cinematic achievements, including Kiss, Haircut, Blow-Job, and Outer and Inner Space. The program runs 141 minutes. Thurs March 25 at 7:30, $7. Seattle Art Museum

BABY GENIUSES--All babies can speak to each other and know the secrets of the universe, but lose the ability when they turn two years old and start to learn language skills. Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) runs Babyco, the world's largest manufacturer of baby products. She also has a secret lab where she's gathered some genius babies and is trying to crack their language code. As in any other children's film, corporations are evil and parents are good, and the story plays up its scatalogical humor. Unlike most children's films, the premise is very strange. Watching toddlers in a sci-fi action film is unsettling, but not as unsettling as the use of computer animation to make these kids speak. From the director of Porky's. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

BIGGER THAN LIFE--James Mason plays a teacher who recovers from sickness thanks to an experimental medicine, which leads to abuse of the medicine and wild mood swings. Directed by Nicolas Ray. Thurs March 18 at 5, 7, 9. Grand Illusion

THE BOYS IN THE BAND--The birthday party for their friend Harold becomes an opportunity for seven homosexuals and one visiting "straight" guy to laugh, dance, and inevitably tear into each other with a vicious rage born from self-loathing. As a time capsule piece--an unconscious portrait of the self-hating delusions gays had to struggle with in the late '60s--even gay historian Martin Duberman has defended Matt Crowley's play as accurate. As a living, breathing piece of entertainment, well, the acting's flawless (the entire stage cast was retained for the film, and it shows), and director William Friedkin livens up the single set and endless monologues as much as he can with editing and deft camera moves. But it's still a play, and an often stilted and boring one at that. It would make a fascinating double feature with Cruising, though. Thurs-Sun March 18-21 at 5, 7:15, 9:30. (Bruce Reid) The Little Theater

CENTRAL STATION--Dora (Fernanda Montenegro), who writes letters for the illiterate poor, takes in Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira) after his mother is killed. Walter Salles' affecting new film risks sentimentality in order to steer close to issues of the human heart, but it's blessed by two impeccable performances from Montenegro and de Oliveira. (Matthew Stadler) Metro

*CHILDREN OF HEAVEN--Thanks to the Grand Illusion, the "Varsity/Egyptian Calendar," and the film festival, Seattleites have gotten a good glimpse of what Iranian film is all about. Now the rest of the country is catching up with the release of Children of Heaven, the first Iranian film to be nominated for a "Best Foreign Film" Oscar. Like The White Balloon from a couple years back, Children of Heaven is a children's film, and the plot is deceptively simple. A boy loses his sister's shoes, and instead of telling their poverty-stricken parents, they share his shoes until he can find a way to make amends. Eventually, he finds out about a race where the prize for third place is a pair of shoes. Through this sweet story, we get a glimpse of how people live through poverty and the picturesque alleys that weave through Tehran. (Andy Spletzer) Metro

THE CORRUPTOR--Ouch! Sorry to be the one to say it, but art-house action star Chow Yun-Fat really stinks! Though much of his work with Hong Kong director John Woo is terrific, Yun-Fat's work over here in the states (The Replacement Killers and now The Corruptor) has been embarrassingly bad. This outing has Yun-Fat and Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg as two cops in New York's Chinatown, falling under the influence of the Chinese mob. Not too much more to say about that, other than the fight scenes are under-choreographed, the gore-factor is uncomfortably over the top, and not even Marky Mark's bare ass can save this lard-filled script. And as for Mr. Yun-Fat, doing weird impersonations of Mel Gibson and Don Johnson just isn't going to cut it. Now, if only the film industry had a "three strikes and you're out" law.... (Wm. Steven Humprey) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

CRUEL INTENTIONS--If you love the Mean Teen genre, you'll get a rise out of Cruel Intentions, which is quite possibly the meanest teenage flick ever made. So mean, in fact, that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of 25--the average age when young adults are finally past believing it's acceptable to act even remotely like anyone in the film. Based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cruel Intentions is a fucking hoot, at least until it tries to get all mushy about love. But it's also VERY steamy: bring a date you've been trying to nail and you'll probably end up doing it in the car on the way home. (Kathleen Wilson) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

DEEP END OF THE OCEAN--This movie is always on the verge of being interesting, but never makes it. Pat (Treat Williams) and Beth (Michelle Pfeiffer) are husband and wife. One day, Pfeiffer brings their three kids to a class reunion and loses one in the crowded lobby of a hotel. Whoops. It's not her fault, though. She told her seven-year-old child Vincent to hold the three-year-old's hand and not let go until she returned from registering. Vincent lets go. Even though the movie blames her for allowing her child to be kidnapped (not lost, but kidnapped), we know it's Vincent's fault. This should be Vincent's story. Then the lost kid shows up at their door, and we follow Beth and Pat as they adopt their own child. Given the choices, everybody does the "right" thing, which is boring. Worst of all, the two most interesting events--the explanation of the kidnapping and Vincent's resolution--take up less screen time than the trailer for the film. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11, Seven Gables

*ELIZABETH--This film details the ascension of Queen Elizabeth, and this brutal tale is filmed with a vibrancy and urgency matched by no other British or French costume drama. There's also a splendid performance by the Australian actor Geoffrey Rush as the somber security chief to Her Majesty the Queen. (Charles Mudede) Guild 45th, Meridian 16

THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT ST. HELENS--The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

EVEREST--The first IMAX footage ever shot on top of the world. Pacific Science Center

FANTASTIC PLANET--A bizarre and at times disturbing science fiction tale. The animation is on the primitive side, but there are enough striking set pieces to make it a visual treat. Thurs March 18 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. (Gillian G. Gaar) Egyptian

FORCES OF NATURE--Two of Hollywood's most annoying young actors, Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck, star in a love story. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

FRENCH AVANT GARDE CINEMA--Includes Jean Cocteau's Blood of a Poet (1930), Marcel Duchamp's Anemic Cinema (1926), Luis BuÑuel's Un Chien Andalou (1929), and others. A must for anyone who aspires for cinematic surrealism. Sat-Sun March 20-21 at 8, $5. Cinema 18

GOD SAID, "HA!"--Former Saturday Night Live star Julia Sweeney writes, directs, and stars in this comedy based on her stage monologue about her family's fight with cancer. Fri-Thurs March 19-25 at (Sat-Sun 12:40, 2:50) 5, 7:10, 9:20. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

*GODS AND MONSTERS--Excellent film about the death (and life) of James Whale, one of Hollywood's first "out" gay directors, and famous for Frankenstein and his bride. Broadway Market

THE HARMONISTS--A '30s German singing group is broken up because of Hitler's anti-Semitism. Reviewed this issue. Broadway Market

HILARY AND JACKIE--Based on the true story of the world famous cellist Jacqueline du Pré, the explosive Emily Watson plays Jackie, and the more sedate Rachel Griffiths plays her sister Hilary. The film depicts Jackie's rise to international fame, and then, of course, her inevitable fall to death. Though predictable direction (by Anand Tucker) works counter to the film's goals, I have a bigger bone to pick with it: I'm tired of films that portray brilliant woman as neurotic, cold, and sterile. (Charles Mudede) Broadway Market

INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE--The biggest problem surrounding short films is that they're never short enough. The "March Madness" edition of Independent Exposure wisely programs the shorter of the short films, and once again, the shortest ones are the best. "Godzilla vs. Shitzilla" and "Junky" are entertaining one-joke films, "Fran's Fantastic Feasts" (by Seattle's Sue McNally) perfectly mimics a PBS cooking show but makes the unfortunate mistake of giving the hostess big, fake teeth. "The Light" and "A Cure for Serpents" are rather dull (and long) film school pieces. "Nerf" is better than "Hitchcock vs. the Alien" in overcoming its computer effects. "The Tyrant" and "Johnny Bagpipes" are good ideas that stumble in their execution. Then there's "Bang Bang," an abstract flicker film utilizing ink blots, which recently won a prize in the New York Underground Film Festival. A pretty good month, all told. Thurs March 25 at 7:30, $4. (Andy Spletzer) Speakeasy

INTO THE DEEP--Not only do you get a really big visual image, it's in 3-D to boot! 3-D imagery's come a long way from its occasional use as a novelty gimmick in '50s-era sci-fi films. Instead of just having the action taking place in front of you, it now swirls all around you, making Into The Deep more of a virtual reality experience. This really is like a 35-minute dive that plunges you smack dab in the middle of a mass squid orgy, facing off a shark, and calmly swimming through a kelp forest. IMAX 3-D is no mere gimmick; it's an exciting way to see films. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL--Though relatively young, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival is a formidable entity. Of interest to Seattle Art Museum patrons will be Making a Killing on Thursday the 18th, as it's about the difficulties of reclaiming Nazi-confiscated art. Closing day, Sunday the 21st, features several "themed" presentations. Through Sun March 21, tickets $7.50, Bagel & Film Brunch $12, call 622-6315 for more information. King Cat Theater

THE KING AND I--An animated version of the classic Yul Brenner musical that was somehow made outside of Disney's tyrannical control. Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

THE KNACK AND HOW TO GET IT--Part of the Grand Illusion's late-night "Effects of Surrealism on '60s Pop Culture" series, this 1965 film by Richard Lester (best know for Beatles films) deals with strange behavior in London. Fri-Sat March 19-20 at 11. Grand Illusion

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL--Like any good comedian, Roberto Benigni (and his co-writer Vincenzo Cerami) knows how to plant the seed for a gag early on, let it sit, then return to it much later for the payoff. The opening, which seems so frivolous, is all groundwork for what Benigni knows will be the toughest sell of his life: comedy in the Nazi camps. Employing the understatement and flamesair for timing that comedy requires, Benigni captures detail after detail in a far more devastating way than more earnest films on the subject could manage. (Bruce Reid) Harvard Exit, Redmond Town Center

LITTLE VOICE--The only reason to see this film is to hear Jane Horrocks sing a bunch of cover songs. Is that any reason to go see a movie? (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16

*LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS--The coolest fucking British film you will see this year. Period. Set in the East End of London, it's a fast, frantic, and frequently flamesippant ride through the social strata of gangland as four wide boys send one of their number, cardsharp Eddie (heartthrob Nick Moran), to take on local crime boss Hatchet Harry (P. H. Moriarty) at poker. They soon find themselves in debt to the sum of half a million nicker, and they're not helped by the fact that Harry has put his debt collector Big Chris (soccer hardman Vinnie Jones) on their tails. It's a tidy movie--all the dead bodies are shot and accounted for--and it's also got a wicked, very English sense of humor. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels makes Tarantino look like the art school, panty-waisted wuss he undoubtedly is. (Everett True) Meridian 16, Neptune

THE MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART--The mixed-blood Albertine (Anne Parillaud) and the Inuit Avik (Jason Scott Lee) meet and begin an odyssey of forbidden love. Part of the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study's film series, "Eros and Transformation." Fri March 19 at 7, $7. Seattle Art Museum

MEET FILMMAKER MARILYN FREEMAN--A discussion with Northwest-based filmmaker Marilyn Freeman, and a staged reading of highlights from her latest script, Sophisticated: The Hollywood Story of Miss Dorothy Arzner. Dorothy Arzner was a lesbian film director in Hollywood from the 1920s to '40s. Thurs March 25 at 7, FREE. The Richard Hugo House

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE--Theresa Osborne (Robin Wright Penn) finds a bottle that contains a cheesy love poem written to a woman named "Catherine." Obsessed, Theresa sets out to find the note's author: Garret Blake (Kevin Costner). Message In a Bottle is dull, dull, dull--a romance that goes nowhere, and all the sweeping music in the world can't save it. Only Paul Newman rises above this sap. (Bradley Steinbacher) Meridian 16

OCTOBER SKY--Based on an unmemorable memoir by NASA engineer Homer H. Hickam Jr., and set at the time Sputnik orbited the sky, this movie is about four working class Virginia boys who, against all odds, win a big national science contest with their rocket theories. A standard American fable. There is a great down-to-earth performance by Chris Cooper (of John Sayles fame), but after that you can forget this piece of sentimental, pro-NASA propaganda. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

OSCAR NIGHT PARTIES--Get drunk and gorge yourself while watching the Oscars on a big screen at either of two yuppie establishments, Planet Hollywood or Paragon. Planet Hollywood's benefit for the Seattle International Film Festival is offering prizes and the usual booze and food. The Paragon Restaurant & Bar has hors d'oeuvres and champagne, a special Oscar night dinner menu, and post-show live music by Sugarcane. Sun March 21; doors open at Planet Hollywood at 4:30, $50, call 324-9996 for tickets and information; the Paragon asks a $10 donation to the Detlef Schrempf Foundation for its reception from 5-7, band starts at 10. Paragon Restaurant & Bar, Planet Hollywood

THE OTHER SISTER--Most will enjoy the film for its effortless one-dimensionality and breezy lack of anything at all. The manipulation inherent in the characterizations--where cynical and filthy-rich non-'tards oppress the doe-eyed, downwardly mobile 'tards--will be eagerly soaked up by a spongy audience, who will love the film for its simple, life-affirming goodness and costly costuming. (Jamie Hook) Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center

PAYBACK--Initially, I was afraid this would be just another Mel Gibson action-comedy. It's violent, but not really a comedy. Once again, Mel Gibson is a guy with nothing to lose and little to gain, betrayed by life and barely surviving in a hostile world. Using the same source material as John Boorman's Lee Marvin vehicle Point Blank, Payback holds its own, and should attract the same crowd that made Seven a success. Directed and co-written by L.A. Confidential's Brian Helgeland. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16

RAVENOUS--Cannibalism is played for adventure, then for laughs, in the wilderness of the Old West. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Varsity

*ROBERT BRESSON FILM SERIES--There is beauty in restraint, in patience, in quiet observation. The Robert Bresson Sunday series continues with Un Femme Douce, an adaptation of Dostoevsky's "A Gentle Creature," tracing the end of a stifling marriage between a housewife and a pawnbroker. Sun March 14 at 1, 3. Grand Illusion

RUSHMORE--Wes Anderson (of Bottle Rocket fame) directs this a bouncy, yet strangely unemotional confection. Max (Jason Schwartzman), a teen prep school dreamer, befriends a much older steel tycoon (Bill Murray). Max's scholastic life hits the fan when his plans to impress a teacher he's fallen for (Olivia Williams) gets him expelled. To make matters worse, Murray falls in love with the very same woman. In the end you're left with solid performances all the way around, a few good laughs, and not a lot to write home about. Walk, don't run. (Wm. Steven Humprey) Meridian 16, Varsity

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN--Stephen Spielberg glamorizes WWII with this big, fake story of the search for a missing soldier. City Centre, Metro

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE--Shakespeare in Love, the fictionalized story of the writing of Romeo and Juliet and the playwright's affair with a remarkable woman who longs to act despite Elizabethan laws against females on stage, is the season's surprise hit. Certainly the idea is appealing: one of history's immortals, shown in his still-struggling youth, with eye-catching period details and a cast uniformly professional enough to carry it off with whimsy. But the film strains too much to flatter and please the audience, setting up predictable conflicts and getting out of them through the easiest ways possible. It's clever in a very simple way, content to show its hero as a great-man-in-waiting and its heroine as so improbably perfect she could only be a muse. (Bruce Reid) Guild 45th, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

SHE'S ALL THAT--Hunky Zach (Freddie Prinze, Jr.)--senior class prez, sports star, and honor student (clearly a Type A personality here)--has been dumped by his airhead girlie, Taylor. Zach bets his friends he can take any other girl and, within weeks, turn her into a prom queen über-babe, though the gal chosen for the makeover (Rachael Leigh Cook) looks suspiciously babe-like from the beginning. A largely inoffensive way to kill an hour and a half. (Gillian G. Gaar)

*A SIMPLE PLAN--Three men find a bag of money in a crashed airplane and decide to keep it. Then their lives go to hell. Bill Paxton is perfectly self-absorbed as the guy who thinks he's smarter than the rest, while Billy Bob Thornton is the heart of the film, giving a performance that makes the whole thing worthwhile. Directed by Sam Raimi. (Andy Spletzer) City Center

STRANGE PARALLEL--A late-night 30-minute profile of singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, including music from his latest CD, XO, and comments from director Gus Van Sant on Smith's musical contribution to the film Good Will Hunting. Fri March 19 to Thurs April 1 at 11:30, $3. Egyptian

TALK CINEMA--A Sunday morning series of "secret" film previews of upcoming independent, art house, and foreign films, with post-film discussions moderated by guest speakers. Sun March 21 at 10 am, $18; for more information call 1-800-551-9221 or visit www.talkcinema.com. Pacific Place Cinema

TANGO--Conceived as a tribute to the dance, Tango opens with a narration by Miguel Angel Solà (Mario Suàrez, one of Argentina's best-known actors) describing the opening scenes of a film--the very scenes we are watching. Like the tango, the film strikes beautiful poses and pantomimes human drama. Sadly, unlike the tango, it never quite loses itself in movement. (Traci Vogel) Harvard Exit

THE RAGE: CARRIE 2--She's baaaack. In The Rage: Carrie 2, Rachel (Emily Bergl) is revealed to be Carrie's half-sister, sharing the same father, a man who evidently had a taste for psychotic Christian ladies. It's easy to understand Carrie's appeal--every intelligent person felt like an outcast in high school to some degree--but Carrie 2 starts out as a pale copy. Rachel isn't an outcast; she's just an artsy, vaguely goth type who's even cute enough to interest Jesse (Jason London), a kinder, gentler jock. When another not-so-sensitive jock messes with one of Rachel's friends, locker doors start slamming on their own, snow globes start exploding, and you know you're on the way to a big, bloody, telekinetic showdown. It's exploitation, sure, but it's also good, gory, trashy fun. (Gillian G. Gaar) Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

*THE THIN RED LINE--I don't think it's a great film, but as I talked about it with friends for hours afterwards, the movie rattled and shifted, refusing to settle down. A World War II movie with very little fighting and a gorgeous pantheistic salute to what must be every last species of flamesora and fauna found on the South Sea islands, The Thin Red Line is a portrait of humanity so intimate we're privy to the innermost thoughts of many of the characters, yet so distanced that most of them blur together into one mud-caked soldier. Is this all complex design or just confusion? Come to think of it, that's one of the questions the film asks, as it stares impassively at the beauty and the terror. (Bruce Reid) Meridian 16, Varsity

*TRUE CRIME--Clint Eastwood has made a film which promotes his political concerns--the plight of the inner city poor, racism in the justice system, the illusion of "family values," and the general hypocrisy of American Christianity--in a very odd way. I say odd because it is an original to these subjects, odd because it is a great film (a rare commodity), odd because True Crime is not didactic, or preachy, or instructive. Set to the pace of a relaxed jazz number, True Crime concerns the final day of a black man on death row (Isaiah Washington). Out of appeals, he is to be executed at midnight, and the only man who believes in his innocence is philandering newspaper reporter (Eastwood), a man who has basically ruined his marriage because he cannot stop sleeping around. He is trying to redeem himself through this great, last cause--but he's not into any of this human-interest stuff; he is self-interested, and it is a self-interest that harms (even physically) those who are close to him. A great director, Eastwood asks for no forgiveness and makes no apologies for his character's flagrant flaws. I will say it now and forever stand by this assessment: like Miles Davis, like Samuel Fuller, like James Ellroy, like Charlie Parker, like James Cain, Clint Eastwood is a great American. (Charles Mudede) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD--Marcello Mastroianni stars as an aging film director who travels the Portuguese countryside. Fri March 19 to Thurs April 1 at (Sat-Sun 1, 3), 5, 7, 9. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

WAKING NED DEVINE--A town is brought together by the death of a denizen holding a winning lottery ticket. When a member of the town decides to impersonate him so that they can all claim the money, narrow misses and hilarity ensue. (Traci Vogel) Uptown

WHALES--An up close and personal look at the largest mammals on earth. Omnidome

WING COMMANDER--Like Mortal Combat, Wing Commander is based on a popular video game with a big following. Though I have never played the game, I have played and mastered Descent. Despite the hours of pleasure Descent has afforded me, I would never in a million light years find a movie version of it appealing. The problem with Wing Commander is simply this: it's pointless. There is absolutely no depth to this story about two "fly boys" fighting aliens to save the Earth. The special effects aren't even that good. I impatiently wait for James Cameron to return to the sci-fi fold. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Oak Tree

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