Film Openings

Week of November 13, 2002

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Half Past Dead. Don Michael Paul. If the title is a Jeopardy question, then the answer might be "How does Steven Seagal come across these days?" or maybe "How will you feel after an 88-minute rip-off of The Rock with action confined to slo-mo gun firing and random glass-shattering?" Seagal, who's slowly morphing into an untalented Marlon Brando as his girth increases in inverse proportion to his intelligibility, got a small career boost by starring in Exit Wounds with rapper DMX. Clearly he decided being around black people who talk fast is a good idea, as he tries to "put a little 'thug' in it" opposite Ja Rule, who -- in a prolonged gag -- tries to teach the Buddhist slab how to say "A'ight." Seagal's character's supposedly Russian, but, mercifully, no accent is adopted. Set in an indeterminate future where Alcatraz has been reopened, this lame hostage movie doesn't even deliver for Seagal fans, the man who shot to fame by being Mike Ovitz's martial-arts teacher shows his skills in exactly one poorly edited fight. Opens November 15 at multiple locations. (LYT)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chris Columbus. Opens November 15 at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

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