The Monitor Movie Guide

Article excerpt

STAR RATINGS

Excellent ++++ Good +++ Fair ++ Poor + The Worst DUD

NEW RELEASE CREMASTER 2 (NOT RATED) Director: Matthew Barney. With Matthew Barney, Norman Mailer, Lauren Pine, Patty Griffin, Scott Ewalt, Michael Thompson. (79 min.) +++ A surrealistic excursion into the life of Utah murderer Gary Gilmore as indelibly chronicled in The Executioners Song by Norman Mailer, who appears in the film as escape artist Harry Houdini, a mythical figure for Gilmore and Barney alike. Barney is more a video artist than a theatrical filmmaker, but the next-to-last installment in his five- part Cremaster series is the most vivid and imaginative yet, confirming his growing reputation as one of the most creative imagemakers of the 90s. Contains a few moments of violence and explicit sex.

FEVER PITCH (NOT RATED) Director: David Evans. With Colin Firth, Ruth Gemmell, Stephen Rea, Lorraine Ashbourne, Neil Pearson. (97 min.) ++ A sports-minded English schoolteacher swings between his passion for soccer and a love affair that would be wobbly even if the other partner shared his athletic interests, which she doesnt. The story is unmemorable, but the characters are engaging and their predicaments are all too recognizable.

FIGHT CLUB (R) Director: David Fincher. With Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf. (139 min.) + Disenchanted with corporate life and tired of filling up sleepless nights ordering furniture from catalogues to make himself feel complete, Jacks numbingly dull state of affairs takes a right-hook into sensory overload when he meets Tyler, soap salesman. Tyler and Jack start Fight Club, a secret group of men that fight bare knuckled in hopes that the ensuing pain will remind them they are alive. Its a warped, unpredictable story that splatters excessively bloody and disturbing images across the big screen. By Katherine Dillin Sex/ Nudity: Frank sexual talk, frontal nudity, 1 instance of graphic sex, and a couple of implied sex scenes. Violence: 33 scenes of excessive violence. Profanity: 140 expressions, most harsh. Drugs: 31 scenes with smoking, 3 with alcohol, 5 with alcohol and smoking, 1 prescription drug overdose.

A GIRL CALLED ROSEMARIE (NOT RATED) Director: Bernd Eichinger. With Nina Hoss, Mathie+ Carrire, Heiner Lauterbach, Horst Krause, Hannelore Elsner. (127 min.) ++ Fact-based story of a young West German woman who uses her sexuality as a steppingstone to money and adventure in the post-World War II era. The imaginative spirit if not the directorial brilliance of Rainer Werner Fassbinder hangs over this energetically shot production, which aims for the late filmmakers trademarked blend of campiness, melodrama, and social criticism. Hoss is striking in the title role. In German with English subtitles

THE GRANDFATHER (PG) Director: Jos Luis Garci. With Fernando Fernn-Gmez, Cayetana Guilln Cuervo, Rafael Alonso, Alicia Rozas, Cristina Cruz. (145 min.) ++ An elderly patriarch searches for the identity of his granddaughter in this prettily filmed drama, set in Spain a century ago. Some will welcome its old- fashioned storytelling, which follows the same path Garci traveled in his Oscar-winning To Begin Again in 1983. Others will wonder why it doesnt get to the point more quickly and entertainingly. In Spanish with English subtitles

PLUNKETT AND MACLEANE (R) Director: Jake Scott. With Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Liv Tyler, Alan Cumming, Iain Robertston, Ken Stott, Tommy Flanagan, Stephen Walters. (93 min.) +++ Set to pounding and occasionally haunting modern music, the film unfolds across an 18th-century landscape as seen through the eyes of a director of late 20th-century TV commercials and rock videos. The result is a high-class if gritty romp through a world of familiar young faces (Tyler and Cumming), who are laced into lavish costumes, riding astride frothing steeds while fighting a corrupt government and morally bankrupt leaders. …