Film Openings

Week of February 16, 2006

Feb 15, 2006 at 4:00 am
Date Movie. When a movie's taglines include "From Two Of The Six Writers Of Scary Movie!" and "The Feel-You-Up Movie Of The Year," two words come to mind: Oscar contender. But Date Movie might be your slice o' pie if you can't get enough of spoof movies and Band Camp girl (Alyson Hannigan). (not reviewed) ARN, CGX, CW10, CC12, DP, EG, J14, MR, OF, RON, SP, STCH, STCL, WO

Eight Below. (PG) In Frank Marshall's inspirational adventure movie, based on a 1983 Japanese blockbuster, a team of intrepid sled dogs marooned in Antarctica struggles to survive winter without benefit of man or Milk-Bone. Beautifully trained, these eight gorgeous huskies upstage the two-legged actors of the piece (notably, Into the Blue star Paul Walker) with the ease of Rin Tin Tin. Unfortunately, the film proceeds on two tracks — the compelling tale of the dogs' struggle to endure, and the much less interesting one about their musher's guilt and trauma over having abandoned them. Had it with the whole penguin thing? Despite its faults, this film offers new insights into the codes of animal behavior. Special kudos to Hollywood dog trainer Mike Alexander. (Bill Gallo) ARN, CGX, CC12, DP, EG, J14, KEN, MR, OF, RON, SP, STCH, STCL, WO

Freedomland. (R) Reviewed this issue. (Robert Wilonsky) ARN, CGX, CC12, DP, EQ, J14, KEN, MR, OF, RON, SP, STCH, STCL, WO

Gay Sex in the '70s. (Not Rated) Between Stonewall and AIDS, there was about a decade during which a gay man in New York could find sex almost anywhere: in the street, in the back of darkened truck trailers parked on the docks, in abandoned warehouses . . . It's enough to make a straight man really jealous, except for the part where all those people who weren't safe started getting a mysterious disease and didn't want to talk about it, for fear that their sexual freedom would disappear once word got out. Those who were gay in the '70s in the red states may not feel the movie is entirely representative, however. Talking heads include Larry Kramer, Roger McFarlane, and Bob Alvarez, who look back with no small degree of nostalgia, and some inevitable sadness. You don't have to be gay to appreciate what was lost. It's unfortunate the title of the film makes it sound like a porno, which may limit the audience and disappoint those who show up. (Luke Y. Thompson) TV

Imagine Me & You. (R) The premise alone should doom this English romantic comedy from the start: Bride falls in love with the florist while walking down the aisle. But the movie avoids this pitfall at first, opening with intelligent humor before withering into sentimental crap once the love interest shows up. At their understated wedding, Rachel (American Piper Perabo) and Hector (Matthew Goode) appear to be tying the knot on a loving relationship. Then Rachel sees Luce (Lena Headey), the sexy florist whose relative inattention to her appearance codes her as a butch lesbian. (Actually, she's a stylish femme.) Once the women lock eyes, the jig is up, for the movie and the marriage. Rachel has encountered something new, and she wants it. The problems are myriad: Husband Hector (Matthew Goode) is far too charming to be left; Rachel is a blank, without a single character trait; and the movie shamelessly promotes both adultery and "love at first sight," a concept that few people beyond adolescence are willing to buy. (Melissa Levine) HP