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Volume 5, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

J. Lo's 'Maid' looks to clean up at box office

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Breaking News

In Maid in Manhattan, one of the entertainment industry's most appealing names, Jennifer Lopez, is paired with one of the screen's finest actors, Ralph Fiennes. Wang, who directed The Joy Luck Club, and John Hughes, who penned the 1980s hits The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, also lend their talents to the film.

Perhaps after the less-than-stellar outings of Lopez's last films, The Wedding Planner and Enough, filmmakers decided to up the ante; at least they've made the pot look bigger this time around. But with the radiant J.Lo changing partners as often as she changes clothes, the Bronx-native's charm might be wearing thin with audiences, and the gamble might result in a big loss for producers.

In the light comedy, Maid in Manhattan, the talented Ralph Fiennes (right) and jaw-dropping Jennifer Lopez hope audiences will buy into their onscreen romance.
Barry Wetcher/Revolution Studios

As it is, Lopez, who flaunts her bronze-toned legs and price-tagged backside, can claim all she wants about being the same woman she was while sweating it out as an In Living Color fly girl, but it will ultimately hurt her screen image. Is it more convincing to see Fiennes make Lopez giggle and blush for an hour and a half, or is it more believable to see J.Lo bed-hop and steal the dance floor?

All this and Halle Berry hasn't even put her clothes back on as Die Another Day keeps running strong. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the Robert De Niro/Billy Crystal laugh-machine, Analyze That, are also banking on a big box-office run.

Speaking of nutcases, Rob Schneider will release his latest film, The Hot Chick. The story, which may reek of plot holes and inane dialogue, follows Schneider's character as he morphs into a popular, snobby college girl. Who cares who directed, wrote or stars in the film? If you're in the mood for easy laughs, Schneider is the goofball for you.

Every once in a while, Trekkies are greeted by the masses and lured into theaters for an update on the Enterprise's latest escapades and its occupants' quest to save the world. The 10th film of the Star Trek series, Star Trek: Nemesis, follows Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his commanders as they look to mend a broken peace treaty.

Directed by Stuart Baird, the film stars Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Ron Perlman and Whoopi Goldberg.

Prying your attention away from the dull Hollywood buzz, the River Oaks Landmark Theatre's Midnight Series cuts up with the funny, somewhat dramatic (Tim Burton-style) Edward Scissorhands. The film starring Johnny Depp as a whacky-haired, experiment-gone-wrong teen is scheduled to run Friday and Saturday at, you guessed it, midnight.

The Angelika Film Center will release Sean Penn's latest film, The Weight of Water. The film flips back and forth between a century-old murder and two couples' boat ride to the scene of the crime. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film stars Catherine McCormack, Sarah Polley and Elizabeth Hurley.

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