Thursday, January 17, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 74



'Black Hawk' leads weekend premieres

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

This weekend features several premieres of films for all audiences to enjoy. A potential Academy Award nominee, Black Hawk Down, will be released next to Disney's latest production, Snow Dogs, with a Roc-A-Fella product, State Property, rounding out the list.

In Black Hawk, 100 elite U.S. soldiers go on a mission in Somalia that turns into a 15-hour ordeal, the longest ground battle involving U.S. soldiers since the Vietnam War.

Ridley Scott (Hannibal) brings this true story to the screen with a loaded cast that stars Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge), Tom Sizemore (Enemy of the State), Sam Shepard (The Pledge) and William Fichtner (The Perfect Storm).

Sidney Baldwin/Columbia Pictures

Left to right: Gregory Sporleder and Pearl Harbor's Josh Hartnett star in Columbia Pictures' latest release Black Hawk Down, premiering this weekend across the nation.

If Black Hawk is too heavy a story, the comedy Snow Dogs will qualify for a lighthearted night at the movies. Based on Gary Paulsen's book, Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod, this Disney film shows what happens when a Miami dentist inherits a team of sled dogs and is determined to train and race them in the Arctic Challenge dog-sledding race.

Directed by Brian Levant (Jingle All the Way), the film stars Cuba Gooding Jr. (Rat Race), James Coburn (Affliction), M. Emmet Walsh (Poor White Trash) and Joanna Bacalso (Dude, Where's My Car?).

In the crime/drama State Property, a young gang leader attempts to reach the top of the drug-dealing business without looking back. Beans (Beanie Sigel), the leader of the wave of violence, ends up facing the consequences that come in the form of the other gang leaders' wrath.

The film first premiered at the Urban World Film Festival in New York City. Making his feature film debut, Abdul Malik Abbott directs Sigel, Memphis Bleek, Sundy Carter, Damon Dash and Jay-Z.

In the local arena, in cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rice Cinema will begin its ninth year of presenting Iranian films this weekend. The presentation, entitled New Films From Iran, will first show The Hidden Half and will continue with a number of other Iranian movies throughout the week.

In The Hidden Half, a woman tells her husband about her past through a diary in the midst of his investigation regarding a female political prisoner.

Director Tahmineh Milani was imprisoned because of the film's controversial subject matter after it was released in Iran. The subtitled film's cast includes Mohammad Nikbin, Niki Karemi and Atila Pesiani. For more information about the Rice Cinema, call (713) 348-4853.

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