Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Local cinema theaters offer up diverse fare

JAKARTA (JP): New to the theater this week is the story of a robot who wishes to be human, which will bore even boys to tears. But do not lose your head, there are plenty of other options to keep you entertained. The following reviews and grades are by Oren Murphy and Tam Notosusanto.

The Beach. Drama, 119 minutes; starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Tilda Swinton and Robert Carlyle. Directed by Danny Boyle.

A young American backpacker, Richard (DiCaprio), heads to Thailand and hears of a mysterious beach undiscovered by the parasitic hordes of tourists. He finds the beach and discovers the cost of the pursuit of unadulterated pleasure. Boyle frequently diverges from Alex Garland's original storyline, but remains true to many of its themes. The film lacks the book's wit and freshness, but is worth a watch anyway. B (OM)

Bicentennial Man. Drama, 130 minutes. (see review above)

Boys Don't Cry. Drama, 118 minutes; starring Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny, Peter Sarsgaard and Jeanetta Arnette. Directed by Kimberly Peirce.

It is a misguided assumption that Swank was a shoo-in for the Oscar thanks to her gender-bending role. She practically slips under the skin of Brandon Teena, the real-life Nebraskan youngster who successfully convinces everybody, including herself, that she is a man. When her object of desire (Sevigny) falls for her, Teena becomes even more steadfast in denying her actual identity and follows her impulses instead, all the way to the tragic end.

Director/cowriter Peirce manages to mold this fact-based story into a powerful human drama, even though we wish she had gone deeper into Teena's soul. B+ (TN)

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Slapstick comedy, 90 minutes; starring Rob Schneider and William Forsythe. Directed by Mike Mitchell.

A fish tank cleaner, Deuce (Schneider), becomes a gigolo (or man-whore as they refer to themselves in the film) to pay off damage to an acquaintance's apartment. In the process of dating all kinds of eccentrics, he meets the love of his life, but has to struggle to show he really loves her. Mishaps and capers ensue. It is stupid, but you will probably find yourself laughing anyway. C (OM)

Sleepy Hollow. Gothic horror, 100 minutes; starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Jeffrey Jones, Christopher Lee and Christopher Walken. Directed by Tim Burton.

Not much in the film resembles Washington Irving's classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but it is an enjoyable film nonetheless. Pathologist/detective Ichabod Crane (Depp) is sent up the Hudson to investigate a series of decapitations by a headless horseman in the small town of Sleepy Hollow.

Burton's film focuses on atmospherics over content, and creates a landscape as stunning as it is creepy. Depp is excellent as the faint-hearted detective. An often gruesome, but very entertaining film. B (OM)