Sun, 06 Jul 2003

Finding Nemo (Animation/Adventure/Family, 100 minutes) Voices by Albert Brookes, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe. Directed by Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich.

A clown fish must swim thousands of miles and escape from a host of dangers to find his son in this awesome film from Pixar, which offers not only breathtaking animation but also an involving story.***1/2 (out of ****)

Bend It Like Beckham (Comedy/Drama, 112 minutes) Starring Parminder K.Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. Directed by Gurinder Chadha.

A potentially winning British comedy about an Indian girl who is obsessed with soccer is too often sabotaged by unnecessary subplots. It's good-natured enough and has sufficient chuckles to keep your interest though.**1/2

Agent Cody Banks (Adventure/Comedy/Action, 102 minutes) Starring Frankie Muniz, Hillary Duff, Angie Harmon, Keith David. Directed by Harald Zwart.

A teenage spy is assigned to investigate a secret project by dating the daughter of a scientist. Unfortunately, he has no skills for that. Good-natured and surprisingly fun family film.***

Janus: Prajurit Terakhir (Janus: The Last Warrior) (Fantasy/Animation/Children/Adventure) Starring Derby Romero, Alyssa Soebandono, Reggy Lawalata, Wawan Wanisar. Directed by Chandra Endroputro.

Two kids find a "mechanical human" from the 31st century who is running from evil robots. Decent 3-D graphics but excruciatingly joyless and preachy. In Indonesian.*1/2

Kiamat Sudah Dekat (Doomsday is Near) (Comedy/Romance, 107 minutes) Starring Deddy Mizwar, Andre Stinky, Dwiki Reza. Directed by Deddy Mizwar.

Low production values and poor camerawork are compensated by good-natured, often hilarious story about a rock drummer who falls for a religious young woman. In Indonesian.**1/2

Taxi 3 (Comedy/Action, 84 minutes) Starring Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Bai Ling, Bernard Farcy. Directed by Gerard Krawczyk.

Excruciatingly unfunny sequel of a tired French series. A washed-out Hollywood actor appears in a surprise cameo. In French with Indonesian subtitles.*1/2

Bruce Almighty (Comedy/Romance, 94 minutes) Starring Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Phillip Baker Hall. Directed by Tom Shadyac.

God gives TV newsman Bruce his power since the latter complains so much. Entertaining but not quite as satisfying as most Jim Carrey vehicles.**1/2

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Comedy/Romance, 116 minutes) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Adam Goldberg. Directed by Donald Petrie.

A magazine columnist tries to get dumped by a man but he just won't let her go despite her antics. Some chuckles but mostly unbelievable and overlong.**

A Man Apart (Action/Drama, 114 minutes) Starring Vin Diesel, Timothy Olyphant, Larenz Tate, Geno Silva. Directed by F. Gary Gray.

A drug enforcement agent seeks revenge on a druglord responsible for his wife's death. A cliched actioner with a very disappointing, abrupt ending.**

-- Joko Anwar