NEW THIS WEEKEND
sss 1/2 "BLOOD WORK" -- Retired FBI profiler Clint Eastwood tracks the killer of the woman whose heart he received in a transplant operation. Despite an unappetizing title that makes it sound more like a teen slasher movie, this is a typically first-rate outing for director/star Eastwood who remains a joy to watch -- behind and in front of the camera. (R) for violence and language; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Cinema South, Hermitage.
ssss "CINEMA PARADISO: THE NEW VERSION" -- This new edition of Giuseppe Tornatore's Oscar-winning 1990 classic restores 51 minutes previously cut from the original U.S. release print. A small, sentimental fable about the friendship between lonely, movie-mad Salvatore and crusty old projectionist Alfredo in a tiny Sicilian town has now been transformed into an even more haunting evocation of lost love. (R) for some sensuality; at Austintown Movies 3.
sss1/2 "DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS" -- Winner of the audience and director's award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, this irresistibly entertaining insider's look at the Zephyr Skateboarding Team that sprung out of a Santa Monica beach community in the 1970s mix-and-matches astonishing archival footage (narrated by Sean Penn) with present-day Z-Boy interviews. (PG-13) for language and some drug references; at Austintown Movies 3.
sss "SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS" -- Precocious spy kids Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) return for more adventures in director Robert Rodriguez's lively and imaginative sequel to last year's sleeper hit. As gadget-laden and brimming with nifty special effects as the original kidflick, this has the colorful look and feel of a pop-up children's book. (PG) for action sequences and brief rude humor; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Hermitage, Tinseltown.
ss "XXX" -- Vin Diesel reteams with his "Fast and the Furious" director Rob Cohen for this flabby action flick about an Extreme Sports-loving daredevil who's recruited by the NSA to infiltrate a Prague-based terrorist organization. Although intended as a Generation Y alternative to your father's James Bond, this is actually a lot closer to Roger Moore's middling 1970s 007 outings. (PG-13) for violence, non-stop action sequences, sensuality, drug content, and language; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Cinema South, Elm Road Drive-In, Hermitage.
LAST WEEK'S TOP 10
ss 1/2 "AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER" -- This only fitfully amusing third outing in Mike Myers' International Man of Mystery series introduces revolting Dutch criminal mastermind/roller-disco impresario Goldmember (Myers), Austin's equally randy dad (a game Michael Caine), and disco honey Foxxy Cleopatra (Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles). While all the familiar faces are back -- including Dr. Evil and Mini-Me -- not even a plethora of big name guest stars can make the recycled gags seem any less stale. (PG-13) for sexual innuendoes, crude humor and language; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Elm Road Drive-In (Warren), Hermitage, Tinseltown.
sss "THE COUNTRY BEARS" -- Ten-year-old cub Beary Barrison (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) goes on a journey of self-discovery when he realizes that he's "different" from his adoptive human family. Based on a Disney theme park attraction, this unexpectedly engaging kidflick feels like "The Blues Brothers" remade as a Muppet caper starring The Banana Splits. (G); at Boulevard Centre, Cinema South.
ssss "K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER" -- This true story of Russia's first nuclear submarine, which suffered a reactor malfunction on its maiden voyage in 1961 and nearly triggered World War III, is a propulsively exciting action thriller whose thoughtfulness, intelligence, seamless craftsmanship and flawless ensemble cast (including Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson) deserve to make it a hit both with audiences and Oscar voters. (PG-13) for disturbing images; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Cinema South.
ss "MARTIN LAWRENCE LIVE: RUNTELDAT" -- Filmed over two nights at Washington, D.C.'s Constitution Hall, this slickly staged concert movie starring Martin Lawrence is sporadically amusing when concentrating on the comic's personal foibles, but not nearly funny or pointedly satirical enough to rank alongside Richard Pryor's classic performance films. (R) for strong crude sexual dialogue and pervasive language; not playing here.
Zero stars "THE MASTER OF DISGUISE" -- Dimwitted waiter Pistachio Disguisey's genetic flair for mimicry comes in handy when his parents are kidnapped by a diabolical criminal mastermind. This brutally unfunny catastrophe starring the supremely annoying Dana Carvey achieves a fingernails-on-a-blackboard level of torture that Carrot Top and Pauly Shore can only dream about. (PG) for mild language and some crude humor; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Hermitage, Tinseltown.
sss "MEN IN BLACK 2" -- Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprise their roles as alien-busting federal agents in this long-delayed sequel to their 1997 blockbuster. Fans of "MIB" will find plenty to like here since this is basically the same movie: breezy, funny and full of eye-popping special effects. All that's missing, alas, is the original film's novelty factor. (PG-13) for sci-fi action violence and some provocative humor; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Hermitage, Tinseltown.
ss 1/2 "MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING" -- "Moonstruck" with a Greek accent, this broadly played ethnic sitcom stars Nia Vardalos as a mousy spinster who finds love with hunky schoolteacher John Corbett after giving herself a confidence-boosting beauty makeover. (PG) for suggestive situations and language; at Cinema South.
ssss "ROAD TO PERDITION" -- Oscar-winning "American Beauty" director Sam Mendes' keenly anticipated new film feels like a new American classic. In 1931 Illinois, Tom Hanks plays an enforcer for crime boss Paul Newman who makes business personal after his wife and son are murdered. Based on Max Allan Collins' graphic novel, this is a film where everything works and each element masterfully and effortlessly complements the other. (R) for violence and language; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Cinema South, Hermitage.
sss 1/2 "SIGNS" -- Pennsylvania farmer Mel Gibson discovers a 500-foot design of circles and lines carved into his cornfield in "Sixth Sense" director M. Night Shyamalan's dynamite new psychological thriller. The suspense is ratcheted up to such an unnerving degree that tension literally hangs over the movie like a shroud. This is easily Shyamalan's most assured and satisfying work to date. (PG-13) for language and some frightening moments; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Elm Road Drive-In, Hermitage, Tinseltown.
s 1/2 "STUART LITTLE 2" -- Plucky little rodent Stuart returns for some innocuous adventures so cloyingly saccharine they could send a diabetic into sugar shock. As creatively bankrupt as any straight-to-video sequel (which, in all fairness, it deserves to be), this rote and mechanical follow-up to the 1999 kiddie blockbuster is for undemanding toddlers and extremely tolerant parents only. (PG) for brief mild language; at Austintown Plaza 10, Boulevard Centre, Hermitage, Tinseltown.
ss 1/2 "BAD COMPANY" -- A CIA agent (Anthony Hopkins) recruits New Jersey ticket scalper Jake Hayes (Chris Rock) to complete a covert mission started by the Garden State ne'er-do-well's late twin brother. (PG-13) for intense sequences of violent action, some sensuality and language; at Cinemark.
sss 1/2 "THE BOURNE IDENTITY" -- After being rescued by an Italian fishing boat with two bullet wounds in his back, amnesiac CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) races across Europe to elude professional killers hot on his trail. (PG-13) for language, sensuality and some brutal, bone-crushing violence; at Austintown Movies 3.
ss "THE CROCODILE HUNTER: COLLISION COURSE" -- Love-him-or-loathe-him Animal Planet cult TV personality Steve Irwin and his wife, Terri, must rescue a crocodile who accidentally swallowed a top-secret U.S. satellite beacon from bumbling CIA agents. (PG) for action/violence peril and mild language; at Cinemark.
s 1/2 "ENOUGH" -- Abused housewife Jennifer Lopez can't break free from psycho hubby Billy Campbell, so she decides to give him a taste of his own medicine. "Enough" already! (PG-13) for intense scenes of domestic violence, some sensuality, and language; at Cinemark.
s 1/2 "HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION" -- The usual slice-and-dice shenanigans ensue when some randy teenagers win an Internet contest to spend Halloween night in Michael Myers' old house. (R) for strong violence, language, some sexuality and brief drug use; at Cinema South.
ss 1/2 "HEY ARNOLD! THE MOVIE" -- Inner-city kid Arnold and pals Gerald and Helga fight to stop a greedy land developer from tearing down their 'hood for gentrification purposes. (PG) for some thematic elements; at Austintown Movies 3, Cinemark.
ssss "INSOMNIA" -- The killer of a teenage girl (a deliciously creepy Robin Williams) plays mind games with the investigating cop (Al Pacino, never better) in this remake of the 1997 Norwegian cult hit. (R) for language, some violence, and brief nudity; at Cinemark.
ss "JUWANNA MANN" -- When bad-boy basketball star Jamal (Miguel A. Nunez, Jr.) gets booted out of the NBA, he masquerades as a female athlete and joins the WNBA. Predictable complications ensue when he falls for a fellow player (Vivica A. Fox). (PG-13) for language and sex-related material; at Cinemark.
ss 1/2 "LIKE MIKE" -- Pint-sized rapper Bow Wow plays an orphan who gains superhuman athletic abilities after donning a pair of sneakers formerly owned by basketball phenom Michael Jordan. No slam-dunk, but this innocuous formula family flick is still relatively painless. (PG) for brief mild language; at Cinemark.
ssss "MINORITY REPORT" -- In this spectacularly entertaining futuristic action thriller by the great Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise takes to the streets after being accused of a murder that hasn't even been committed yet. (PG-13) for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug use; at Cinemark.
sss "MR. DEEDS" -- Adam Sandler plays a lovable small-town rube who inherits a fortune, moves to the big city and gets besieged by opportunists gunning for a piece of his pie. (PG-13) for language, sexual references and some rear nudity; at Boulevard Centre, Cinema South, Elm Road Drive-In.
ss 1/2 "MONSTERS, INC." -- Cuddly spooks John Goodman and Billy Crystal accidentally transport a human child back to their Monstropolis scream factory in this passably entertaining, but never truly memorable computer-animated 'toon. (G); at Cinemark.
ssss "NINE QUEENS" -- A diabolically clever caper flick from Argentina about two con men (Ricardo Darin and Gaston Pauls), nine counterfeit stamps, and a seemingly airtight scam that somehow manages to get disastrously botched. (R) for language; at Austintown Movies 3.
s "SCOOBY-DOO" -- Criminally stupid kiddie piffle based on the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon show. Thanks to some chintzy CGI effects, Scooby looks more like a hologram of a dog than an actual pooch. (PG) for rude humor, language and scary action; at Cinema South.
sss 1/2 "SPIDER-MAN" -- When Peter Parker (the spectacularly good Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a genetically-altered spider, he gains superhuman strength and the ability to cling to any surface. (PG-13) for stylized violence and action; at Austintown Movies 3.
ss "SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON" -- An untamed mustang's independence is jeopardized when he's captured by cavalry soldiers who want to train him for military service. This pretty but dull DreamWorks 'toon (narrated by Matt Damon) might have the distinction of being the first animated western, but novelty value alone can't sustain a 75-minute movie. (G); at Cinemark.
sss "STAR WARS, EPISODE II -- ATTACK OF THE CLONES" -- Picking up 10 years after "Phantom Menace" left off, George Lucas' latest space saga still suffers from tone-deaf dialogue, an overdose of "Fraggle Rock"-like puppet creatures, and stilted performances. But this visually dazzling digital dreamscape has so much glorious eye candy that it's a feast for the senses nonetheless. (PG) for sustained sequences of sci-fi action and violence; at Cinemark.
sss "UNDERCOVER BROTHER" -- An Afro-coiffed 007 (Eddie Griffin) is recruited to foil a white supremacist conspiracy in the funniest "disreputable" comedy since the sleeper "How High." (PG-13) for language, sexual humor, drug content and campy violence; at Cinemark.
XReviews by Vindicator critic Milan Paurich unless otherwise noted.