OPENING

AMONG GIANTS
--Broadway Market
BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS, AND OCTANE
--Varsity
COOKIE'S FORTUNE
--Guild 45th, Meridian 16
GO
--Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center
JUST THE TICKET--Pacific Place 11
THE SCHOOL OF FLESH--Harvard Exit
TWIN DRAGONS
--Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Varsity

REPERTORY & REVIVAL

ANATOMY OF A MURDER--Grand Illusion

ANIMATOR'S SOCIAL--911 Media Arts

THE APPLE--The Egyptian
CORNISH STUDENT VIDEO NIGHT--Seattle Asian Art Museum
EUROPEAN CINEMA & ETHNICITY--Kane Hall FLOW--The Little Theater
FRENCH FILM NOIR--Seattle Art Museum

JAPANESE GHOST STORIES--Seattle Asian Art Museum

KURT AND COURTNEY--Egyptian

NAGISA OSHIMA FILMS--Grand Illusion

THE OGRE--Grand Illusion

OPEN SCREENING--911 Media Arts
PATHS OF GLORY--The Little Theater
ROBERT BRESSON FILM SERIES--Grand Illusion

SENSO--Seattle Art Museum

TALK CINEMA--Pacific Place 11

COMING SOON

APRIL 16--A Chinese Ghost Story, Life, Goodbye Lover, Metroland, Dancemaker
APRIL 23--eXistenZ, Pusing Tin, The Dreamlife of Angels, SLC Punk, Lost and Found, A Place Called Chiapas, Election

MOVIES & EVENTS

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU--Ten things I hate about this movie: 1. It just drips with saccharine. 2. Why set a movie in 1999, only to have bleedin' Letters to Cleo do cover versions of songs that were (presumably) written before most of the cast were born? 3. The film is loosely based on the heinous, misogynistic play The Taming of the Shrew. 4. For a film about high schoolers, there sure are a lot of thirtysomething actors. 5. The first kiss between "mysterious young man" Patrick Verona and "shrew" Katarina Stratford was SO syrupy and awful it nearly caused one of my companions to have a diabetic seizure. 6. We're expected to believe that Kat's sister, the airhead Bianca, would fall for the sap Joey Donner? Right. 7. At the "Riot Grrrl" gig, everyone is wearing Gap tops. 8. On what planet does anyone care about Letters to Cleo? 9. The photography sucks. 10. The movie is set in Seattle. How lame is that? (Everett True) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

*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 Afflamesiction, I'm convinced that this is one of the greatest performances ever captured on film. (Bruce Reid) Metro

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

AMONG GIANTS--The sequel to Billy Crystal's hilarious My Giant, but with English working-class blokes filling in for Crystal, and without that freakishly large man from the first film. Broadway Market

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, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

ANATOMY OF A MURDER--Otto Preminger's 1959 courtroom drama, with Jimmy Stewart. Duke Ellington was the composer for the film's score, known to be one of the great jazz soundtracks of the 1950s. Fri-Sat April 9-10 at 11:30. Grand Illusion

ANIMATOR'S SOCIAL--A batch of animated shorts created by "locals only." Titles include Snowpea & Tofu, Crazy Wacky Climbing Guy and His Happy Little Helpers, and Le Maggot du Ballet--a 3D love story about two maggots. Thurs April 8 at 8, $3. 911 Media Arts

THE APPLE--The directorial debut of 18-year-old Samira Makhmalbaf, who tells the true story of an Iranian father who held his two daughters captive for over a decade before they were discovered by a social worker. Fri-Sun April 9-11. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

BABY GENIUSES--The director of Porky's makes toddlers speak with the help of computer animation, the the effect is just as creepy and unnatural as you'd expect. Not a children's movie as much as a bizarre example of the deification of babies. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Redmond Town Center

BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS, AND OCTANE--Two used car salesmen who specialize in the hard sell are about to go out of business. Meanwhile, there's a mysterious 1963 Pontiac Le Mans crossing the country, leaving a wake of dead bodies behind it. The two stories merge when the boys are offered $250,000 to sit on the car for 48 hours. Director Joe Carnahan has made an ultra-low budget film long after it's fashionable or charming to do so. The story is thin, the characters abrasive, the script is wordy, but he got the damn thing made! The whole thing gets by on its quick pacing, but pace can't compensate for the many other flaws in the film. Though it's much better than I expected, it's still grating. The most inspiring thing for would-be filmmakers is that he got the damn thing distributed! (Andy Spletzer) Varsity

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

COOKIE'S FORTUNE--Robert Altman's latest and, supposedly, one of this best. Reviewed this issue. Guild 45th, Meridian 16

CORNISH STUDENT VIDEO NIGHT--Cornish College of the Arts presents an evening of "cutting edge work" by students of the Video Art Program. Tues April 13 from 7:30-11. Seattle Asian Art Museum

CRUEL INTENTIONS--Mean-spirited but steamy high school adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Pacific Place 11

DEEP END OF THE OCEAN--Michelle Pfeiffer loses one of three kids in a hotel lobby. Turns out it was a kidnapping. Years later, the lost kid shows up at their door, and they adopt him. Everybody does the "right" thing, which is boring. Worst of all, the most interesting events are dealt with in less than five minutes. Wait for the network broadcast (with commercials). (Andy Spletzer) Pacific Place 11

DOUG'S FIRST MOVIE--And, hopefully, his last. Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

EDTV--Ed Pakurny (Matthew McConaughey) is our everyman (if "everyman" can mean a redneck living in San Francisco), and he's been chosen to star in a new show in which every minute of his life will be broadcast live on national television, unedited and uninterrupted, for an entire month. Slowly, the show begins to attract interest as viewers become intrigued by his budding romantic relationship with his brother's girlfriend, Shari (Jenna Elfman). Soon the nation is hooked on the minutiae of Ed's life, and his instant celebrity puts the kibosh on his relationship with anyone the cameras come in contact with. EDtv is a good-natured hoot, the likes of which we haven't seen from Ron Howard since his heyday of Splash (1984) and Night Shift (1982). Though it takes its shots at the television industry, the film's main target is the public's relationship with celebrity. (Wm. Steven Humprey) Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

*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) Seven Gables

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

*EUROPEAN CINEMA & ETHNICITY--This series of free screenings continues with Love Story, a documentary of forbidden love in WWII Germany, and Memoirs of a River, about Jewish loggers in 19th century Hungary after a murder. Love Story plays Mon April 12 at 7; Memoirs of a River plays Wed April 14 at 7. Kane Hall

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

FLOW--The premiere screening of Flow, Serge Gregory's documentary, including a gallery show featuring local photographers who have documented the demolition and construction frenzy in Seattle over the last decade. Wed April 14 at 6. The Little Theater

FORCES OF NATURE--Ben (Ben Affleck) is trying to get to Georgia for his wedding. On the plane he meets Sarah (Sandra Bullock), a wild, bewitching woman with heavy eye-liner and streaks in her hair. The plane crashes and the two of them are forced to go by land, trapped together as one "hilarious" mishap after another thwarts their journey. Along the way, they sorta fall in love, but not really. Forces of Nature is every pathetic man's fantasy, not a female empowerment vehicle, which is surprising since it was directed by a woman. With the stable, pretty fiancé waiting for him at home (Maura Tierney), Ben struggles with his feelings for the irresponsible, sexy woman he stumbles across. In the end, love (not lust) conquers all, which is pure bullshit. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

FRENCH FILM NOIR--Seattle Art Museum's tribute to the French masters of ironic fatalism and atmospheric, poetic realism. The 10-film series kicks off with Henri-Georges Clouzot's masterful Diabolique on Thurs April 8, and continues with The Wages of Fear on Thurs April 15. Seattle Art Museum

GO--I don't know why movies that intertwine a number of disparate stories (Mystery Train, Pulp Fiction) so often pick three as the magic number, but here we go again. Three successive tales: a teen grocery clerk takes a stab at dealing ecstasy; a fellow clerk and his rowdy buddies head out on a road trip; and two actors agree to take part in a drug bust to clear their record. There's some funny scenes, though none of them manage to avoid either cliché, or a hip, ironic take on a cliché. Zero points for originality, then, but don't write the movie off entirely. There's a clutch of good performances (especially Sarah Polley as the would-be dealer, and William Fichtner as a cop), and a few moments do an excellent job capturing the madcap rush of adrenaline when you're young and stupid enough to think you can get away with anything. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

GOD SAID, "HA!"--Especially in the hushed and sterile aftermath of illness, humor can seem both desperately necessary and remarkably out of place. When her very close brother was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the lymph nodes--around the same time she was getting her own life together--Julia Sweeney figured it must be evidence of God's terrible sense of humor. Her brother, unable to care for himself, moved in with her. So did her mother and father. For a year the family lived together with the desperate hope that Sweeney's brother would get better without first getting too much worse. That same year, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. God Said, "Ha!" is filmed like a Spalding Gray monologue (without Spalding Gray, thank God), with Sweeney perched on a well-worn couch in the middle of a theatrically lit stage. She hardly moves at all, but she doesn't need to because her material is hilarious, humane, and utterly poignant. (Traci Vogel) Metro

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

INTO THE DEEP--An IMAX film in 3-D, putting you right into the aquarium. Pacific Science Center

JAPANESE GHOST STORIES--Broken up into four supernatural stories, Masaki Kobayashi's eery film Kwaidan is the second in the "Ghost Tales From the Japanese Cinema" series at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Sun April 11 at 1:30, $6. Seattle Asian Art Museum

JUST THE TICKET--Andy Garcia and Andie Mac-Dowell star in an adaptation of the life of Jon Lovitz. Pacific Place 11

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

KURT AND COURTNEY--Nick Broomfield's is sleezy in a bad and annoying way, as proven by this "documentary." Egyptian

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, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

THE LIVING SEA--It's alive! See fish and waves and whales and jellyfish, all in that big-screen IMAX format. Omnidome

*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) Uptown, Varsity

*THE MATRIX--Morpheus (Laurence Fishburn) has been searching for the One, a cyber-Christ who will destroy the Matrix and wake people out of their preprogrammed idea of life. He thinks he has found Him in Neo (Keanu Reeves). With the knowledge that the Matrix is a computer-created dream, Morpheus and his rebels (with equally stupid names: Trinity, Cypher, Switch, Apoc, etc.) can run and jump and fight with superhuman power, but are hunted down by super-agents who want to cleanse the system. Sure, the character names are stupid, the barroom metaphysics ("Hey, what if life is just a dream?") are simplistic, and the cyber-Christ story is predictable, but the action scenes--even the ones that use that 180 degree near-freeze frame--make this otherwise boring movie worth seeing. From the directors of Bound. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Neptune, Northgate, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

THE MOD SQUAD--Claire Danes, Giovanni Ribisi, and Omar Epps play Julie Barnes, Pete Cochrane, and Lincoln "Linc" Hayes--three young adults headed straight for the big house until Capt. Greer (Dennis Farina) gives them a chance to redeem themselves the only way he knows how: by making them cops. He fails, they fail, everybody fails. This movie is a disaster, and it's my vote for the worst movie of the year so far, by far. Halfway through, just before the nausea almost made me walk out, I realized the biggest problem: director Scott Silver is too immature at this point in his "career," obviously believing style can overcome a lack of substance. His movie proves otherwise. Not that the cast helps any. The only reason I sat through the whole thing was because I realized it was, indeed, the worst movie of the year, and I couldn't let it beat me. A true lose-lose situation. Save yourself, don't go. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Uptown

NAGISA OSHIMA FILMS--Two films about death, Death by Hanging and The Man Who Left His Will on Film, both made in the late-'60s. Thurs April 8. Grand Illusion

NEVER BEEN KISSED--After about 20 minutes, I was getting to thinking about how much I hate Drew Barrymore: her smug, cloying superciliousness, the way she always plays the same saccharine, flaw-free character. After an hour, I was in love with her again. There's something about her smile, her rosy cheeks, the way she bites her lip when pushed, her... DAMN IT ALL! Never Been Kissed's basic premise is this: Drew is 25, she's never been kissed (yeah, right), and she works at the Chicago Sun-Times. She needs a break, so she's sent as an undercover reporter to her old high school where... no, you must have peeked! She gets kissed! Can you believe it? Or how 'bout this? Executive producer Drew Barrymore decides to do a movie for all the ugly people out there, to show just how sympathetic she is to our plight. Gee, thanks Drew. (Everett True) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

THE OGRE--A surreal, "grotesque fairy tale" starring John Malkovich as Abel, an orphan who finds himself on a nightmarish journey that takes him through Catholic boarding school, prison, war, and the evil world of the Third Reich. Directed by Volker Schlondorff. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

OPEN SCREENING--Aspiring film and videomakers show their stuff (VHS tapes, no longer than 10 minutes) and receive feedback in an "open mic" environment. Mon April 12 at 8, $1. 911 Media Arts

THE OUT OF TOWNERS--Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn together again in this remake of the Neil Simon film. Expect not to laugh. City Center, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree

*PATHS OF GLORY--Stanley Kubrick's first internationally-acclaimed war film (1957) explores the class system within the French trenches during WWI. Thurs-Sun April 8-11. The Little Theater

RELAX... IT'S JUST SEX--P. J. Castellaneta's debut was the talky-but-engaging chamber piece Together Alone: two characters, one apartment, plenty to hold your interest. For his follow-up, he's gone the other way--and, to my mind, stretched himself too thin--by showing us the trials and tribulations of a dozen friends, including couples (straight and gay) and the obligatory lonely playwright. Not that the film isn't enjoyable. It's got a fair share of better-than-average sitcom zingers, a bright look, and a mostly winning cast. It's even willing to be less than smooth sailing all the way--some of these people are uncharacteristically abrasive, and there's a bit of revenge on a would-be gay basher that's unapologetically nasty. But in its effort to cover all the bases, the film comes up with a group of people not likely to hang out together all the time. This lack of believability doesn't hurt the lighter moments; but when things get serious, it's fatal. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

*ROBERT BRESSON FILM SERIES--Another film by Robert Bresson from the Grand Illusion's Bresson series. L'Argent explores dishonesty, crime, and eventual violence, which leads to one of the most memorable bank robberies in cinematic history. Sun April 11 at 1, 3. (Andy Spletzer) 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) Metro, Pacific Place 11

THE SCHOOL OF FLESH--Isabelle Huppert stars as a sophisticated lady who picks up a sexy, young hustler (Vincent Martinez), and the dance they do around their mutual attraction. The older man who hooks up with the fantasy woman is taken for granted in movies, so it's nice to see the opposite. Unfortunately, that's all it is. The spoiled brat of a boy-toy is treated like an intoxicating substance for her to abuse, but we never realize why she feels the need to have a fling with an unreliable, bisexual, part-time prostitute. His character is as empty as any ditsy blond counterpart. Unlike Martinez, Huppert manages to give depth to a character that maybe--just maybe--shouldn't have any. By the way, it's a bad adaptation of a Yukio Mishima story. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit

SENSO--Director Luchino Visconti teams up with Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles to create a passionate love story between an Italian contessa and a Prussian army officer. Part of the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study Film Series. Fri April 9 at 7; call 443-1831 for more info. Seattle Art Museum

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 im-mortals, 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) Factoria, Guild 45th, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

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 April 11 at 10 am, $18; for more information call 1-800-551-9221 or visit www.talkcinema.com. Pacific Place 11

*TRUE CRIME--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) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro

TWIN DRAGONS--Another Jackie Chan film (yawn), but this time under the direction of two of Hong Kong's greatest: Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam!!! Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Varsity

*UNMADE BEDS--Nicholas Barker's debut film returns us to that problematic (but always productive) zone that rests between fiction and reality. The film is about real people--four pathetic New Yorkers looking for love--and their real frustrations, desires, and problems. The whole mess of their existence is exposed to the world. On the other hand, the film also has scenes that are completely manufactured by the director; scenes that are calculated and carefully thought out, reminding us of a great truth: it takes a lot of fiction to make film look real. Whatever Unmade Beds may be (documentary or not), the bottom line is it's a fun film, and this is due entirely to two great characters: The sexually liberal divorcée Brenda, who is trying to find a man who will pay her bills (and coke); and the grumpy failed screenplay writer Mikey, with his '70s playboy pad. You really don't want to a miss a film where the main character says: "When women come into my apartment, they know they are here to fuck." (Charles Mudede) Broadway Market

A WALK ON THE MOON--A lot of things happened in the summer of 1969. If you doubt it, just see this movie, which dutifully drags out all of them. The story of a housewife (Diane Lane) vacationing in the Catskills, who tires of her square husband (Liev Schreiber) and has a fling with the free-spirited traveling salesman (Viggo Mortensen) who visits weekly (no, really), A Walk on the Moon tries desperately to draw parallels between its everyday characters and the seemingly momentous changes going on in the nation. It doesn't work, mostly because neither the characters we're watching nor the times they live in ever feel anything more than a superficial rehash of everything you've heard and seen before. As with most actors-turned-novice directors, Tony Goldwyn does a nice job with his cast, but lets the narrative meander, even stall out at times. There's a kindness towards people that bodes well for any future projects Goldwyn attempts, but this one is just dumb and dull. (Bruce Reid) Pacific Place 11

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

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