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Film Openings 

Week of July 3, 2002

Like Mike. John Schultz. The bosses want young, so here is a boy, son of a pal, with his insight into this kiddie pic 'bout Lil' Bow Wow's hoop dreams, a pair of magic Nikes (maybe worn by, who else, Michael Jordan), a deluge of NBA cameos (Jason Kidd, Chris Webber, Dirk Nowitzski) and other "real fun stuff" the olds won't get ("Is he the fish that saved Pittsburgh?"). Says Zachary Thum, age five: "It's about this little boy and he got these special shoes from a [telephone] wire and they said 'MJ' and he said, 'Like Mike!' Then he went to a basketball game and got picked so he went against the best players and he got a score so the boy could play basketball with the big boys. And then there was a paint fight in the swimming pool, and then he had a water-gun fight and a pillow fight and then it was the end. I liked when they had the paint fights and the pillow fights." Now playing at multiple locations. (RW)

MIIB: Men In Black II. Barry Sonnenfeld. Like a jawbreaker that changes color every few seconds that you suck it, MIIB delivers a quick buzz, lots of stuff to look at, and a totally non-nutritious joy that can only be attained with the aid of artificial flavorings and yellow dye number five. In a nutshell, it's the perfect summer movie. Evil aliens are coming, and it's up to the MIBs, with the aid of various good aliens, to blast 'em. As we start the movie, Agent J (Will Smith, finally acting grown-up) has taken over the role of former partner K (Tommy Lee Jones) as the no-guff workaholic head agent. When K recovers his memory and returns to action, as he inevitably must, J suddenly finds himself regressing subconsciously back to smart-talking sidekick. But this isn't a film about plot -- it's all about the aliens and the jokes (ranging from obvious Oprah Winfrey toss-offs to impressively staged sight gags). The whole thing's less than an hour-and-a-half -- just long enough. Now playing at multiple locations. (LYT)

The Powerpuff Girls Movie. Craig McCracken. Now playing at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

Swimming. Robert J. Siegel. Opens July 5 at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge. Shohei Imamura. Japanese director Imamura has been stealthly making masterpieces for 45 years without much stateside acknowledgement (although he has twice received the prestigious Palme D'or at Cannes). Warm Water involves a magical search for a golden Buddha, sensual exchanging of fluids and floods of water erupting from the loins of lovers. Plays at 8 p.m. July 5-7 at Webster University. NR

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