Film Openings

Week of November 28, 2001

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Behind Enemy Lines. John Moore. Opens Nov. 30 at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

Sidewalks of New York. Edward Burns. If you came across Edward Burns' new film on cable TV and didn't recognize any of the actors, chances are you'd assume it was part of MTV's massive reality TV franchise: Handheld cameras follow the protagonists around in their daily routines (during the course of which they try to find love and little else), and in between we get confessional interviews. This isn't to say that it's a bad film, per se: The acting is fine, and the characters are believable. It simply brings nothing new to the table and has little reason to exist beyond Burns' desire to make a film because he can. The material's so familiar it feels like a well-worn amusement-park ride, the Jungle Cruise of romantic comedies. The "plot" of the film involves several interlocking "stories," all of which can be summed up thusly: Person X seeks love from Person Y, who may or may not be already unhappily involved with Person Z, who seeks love from Person A, and so forth. Dennis Farina shines as the comic relief, and Brittany Murphy takes a major step towards leading-ladyhood. This'll make a good audition tape, but doesn't quite feel like a film. Opens Nov. 30 at the Plaza Frontenac. (LYT)

Texas Rangers. Steve Miner. A gruff and razor-stubbled group of handsome young men return to Texas after the Civil War in search of a way to harness their experiences. So they form the Texas Rangers with the goal of taming the wild West. Starring James Van Der Beek, Dylan McDermott, Ashton Kutcher, Robert Patrick, Randy Travis and Usher. NR

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