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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Movie Maven
by Gregg Shapiro
2003-09-17

This article shared 2601 times since Wed Sep 17, 2003
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Limited runs and special events:

@ Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E Randolph, (312) 744-6630: 'International Dinner & a Movie' – The Third Man – Nov. 18 (cuisine by Kasia's Deli); 39 Steps – Jan. 20 (cuisine by Bob Chinn's Crabhouse); Home Movie – Mar. 23 (cuisine by Polo Café & Catering); Vengo – May 18 (cuisine by Los Dos Laredos)

@ Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, (815) 836-5291: Latino Film Festival – El Crimen de Padre Amaro – Sept. 24; Tortilla Soup – Sept. 30; Y Tu Mama Tambien - Oct. 2; Talk To Her – Oct. 6; American Me – Oct. 15

@ Facets Cinematheque Tilda Swinton stars in the sci-fi techno sex thriller Teknolust as Dr. Rosetta Stone, a biogeneticist who has lost her whole family to a mysterious disease and copes with her lonely life by infusing her DNA into her computer, Sept. 19-25. 1517 W. Fullerton, (773) 281-4114.

In theaters:

Cold Creek Manor (Touchstone): Longtime friend of the LGBT community Sharon Stone and newly minted friend of the community Dennis Quaid play husband and wife Leah and Cooper Tilson, respectively. She's a big-time executive and he's a documentary filmmaker living in NYC with their children Jesse (Ryan Wilson) and Kristen (Kristen Stewart). After Jesses nearly loses his life after being hit by a car, the Tilson's decide to leave the city for the friendlier confines of the country. They select not-quite-abandoned Cold Creek Manor in the town of Bellingham, a foreclosure that they get for a song. Shortly after settling in they are visited by Dale Massie (Stephen Dorff sporting a porn-star body), the just-released-from-prison former owner of the house. Seems that he fell behind on the mortgage payments and lost the home that had been in his family for generations and he's none too pleased. The Tilsons hire him to help with the restoration of the house, including the repair of the swimming pool. Not surprisingly, since being 'left' by his wife and two kids, he gets 'involved' with Ruby (a typecast Juliette Lewis), who lives in a trailer and pumps gas, slings hash and pours drinks at the local gas station/diner/tavern/country store.

Threatened by his sexual energy and his questionable past, Copper fires him and that's when the frightening fun begins. There's a car chase through a cornfield. Daughter Kristen's horse ends up floating dead in the swimming pool. Dale's abusive nursing home-bound father (a scenery and chocolate cherry chewing Christopher Plummer) is smothered. All of this leads to a final rooftop, rainstorm showdown. As with some movies in this genre, the suspenseful build-up comes to a disappointing end, and sadly, such is the case with Cold Creek Manor. (B-)

Demonlover (Palm Pictures): The cut-throat employees of rival global corporations will do anything, including murder, to get what they want. What they want are the rights to (and profits from) sexually graphic and violent 3-D Japanese animation on the Internet. What they do to each other borders on being as violent and pornographic as the web-porn for which they are competing. Sexually ambiguous Diane (Connie Nielsen), who was hired by an intermediary corporation to sabotage the negotiations of the French corporation for which she works is ruthless, but when co-worker Elise (Chloe Sevigny), turns the tables on her, you get the impression that revenge never tasted so sweet. Gina Gershon (of Bound renown) plays a tough-talking representative from an American firm also interested in getting involved with the dealings. (C)

The Fighting Temptations (Paramount): As a young boy, Darrin (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) left the town of Monte Carlo, Ga., with his mother Maryann (Faith Evans) when fellow choir member and devoted church-goer Paulina (LaTanya Richardson), the holier-than-everyone sister of Rev. Lewis (Wendell Pierce), discovered that Maryann was singing and recording secular 'devil music.' More than 20 years later, Darrin is a successful Manhattan advertising executive. That is until it is discovered that he lied about his educational background. On the same day that he is fired from his job he learns that back in Monte Carlo, his beloved Aunt Sally has died. Darrin returns home for the funeral while his belongings are being repossessed by creditors back in New York. During the reading of the will Darrin discovers that his Aunt Sally wants him to take over her role as choir director and get them ready for the Gospel Explosion competition. If he accepts, he stands to inherit a sizable sum of money. Of course he accepts, even without having any choir directing experience and begins the daunting task of recruiting choir members, beginning with single mom Lilly (Beyonce Knowles), who is persona non grata because she sings in a nightclub. Gooding, who earlier this year starred in the offensive Boat Trip, continues to mug for the camera, while Knowles continues to prove herself to be someone to watch. Unfortunately, The Fighting Temptations can't decide whether to be funny or make fun of itself. I just want to know what they did with the gay people. How is it possible to have a movie about a church choir and not have a gay member? The Fighting Temptations is nothing more than The School of Rock (the soon-to-be released Jack Black flick) in choir robes. (C-)


This article shared 2601 times since Wed Sep 17, 2003
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