Thursday, February 14, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 93



Denzel plays a bad guy again in 'John Q'

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

For those planning to celebrate a romantic weekend for Valentine's Day, the Edwards Houston Marq*E 23 is probably worth a visit. 

The theater is showing the return of Disney's Beauty and the Beast in a special 10th-anniversary IMAX edition. 

The classic tale of love will run until April 30. For show times and ticket information for this G-rated Disney classic, call (713) 263-0808 or visit

As for films opening this weekend, Denzel Washington can be seen in John Q. The Oscar-winning actor continues his trend of playing a "bad guy" in this drama, which follows a father as he takes an emergency room hostage when the hospital denies his son a heart transplant for not having insurance.

Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema

Denzel Washington plays another villain in John Q, a film about a father who holds patients and doctors in a hospital under hostage in an a desperate attempt to help his sick son.

If director Nick Cassavetes is able to highlight any moral meaning behind a man fighting the system rather than playing connect-the-dots in this thriller, John Q may be worthwhile.

In addition to John Q, Cassavetes has also directed She's So Lovely, a film featuring a script originally written by his father, the independent film industry legendary John Cassavetes.

The Academy Award nominee Iris (Miramax) is also opening this Friday. Based on John Bayley's memoir Elegy for Iris, the film (rated R) is based on the true romance between the novelist and Iris Murdoch.

Murdoch, a woman noted for being ahead of her time, wrote 26 novels in 40 years; the last was written while she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She died in February 1999 at the age of 79.

Judi Dench, who plays Iris, was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. The English actress has become a mainstay at awards ceremonies in the past years with performances in Chocolat, Shakespeare in Love and Mrs. Brown.

Dench's other half in the film, Jim Broadbent, won a Golden Globe earlier in the year for best actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of Bayley, Iris' longtime companion. 

Kate Winslet has also made a name for herself; the actress, who plays the younger Iris in the film, has done award-winning work even before the mega-hit Titanic with Sense and Sensibility. Winslet was also nominated at the Globes for best actress in a supporting role for Iris.

Also being released this weekend is comedy that comes in the form of Super Troopers, a film with a premise involving four Vermont state troopers: Thorny, Rabbit, Mac and Foster.

The quartet spends most of its time goofing off around a deserted Canadian border until its members learn the state has been looking for ways to cut its budget. From there, the troopers set out to become the ultimate state troopers.

This is the second film by director Jay Chandrasekhar and Broken Lizard, a five-man comedy team, the first being Puddle Cruiser. Trooper has the potential to sneak up on audiences; the independent film's signing with a major studio (Searchlight Pictures) earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival will certainly give it more exposure.

Crossroads is the latest film aimed towards teenagers' allowances as pop star Britney Spears dabbles in the film business with the lead role.

Spears is as appealing as ever to her audience, but singers who turn to the screen usually don't get favorable applause. Most critics will probably compare Crossroads (Paramount) to Mariah Carey's effort with Glitter, which doesn't bode well for the fate of Spears' debut.

The story is about three high school girls who, after eight years apart, go on a trip around the country together. The girls, whose are characterized as a burnout, a school-oriented personality and a cheerleader, are searching for something to change their lives throughout the film.

Directed by Tamra Davis, the PG movie also stars Taryn Manning, Zoe Saldana, Kim Cattrall and Dan Aykroyd.

Bruce Willis will carry the fictional World War II film Hart's War (MGM) into theaters this weekend.

Willis, who has gelled into a fine actor since his earlier days, portrays Col. William McNamara, an American officer imprisoned in a German prisoner-of-war camp. McNamara possesses hopes of changing the state of the camp with the distraction of a trial.

While Lt. Tommy Hart, played by Colin Farrell, sets to defend Lt. Lincoln Scott (played by Terrence Dashon Howard), an African-American who stands accused of murder, McNamara begins his mission.

The film is based on John Katzenbach's novel of the same title. Director Gregory Hoblit follows the modest success of Frequency with this war drama.

The Angelika Film Center continues its Sensational Cinema program with various films opening for the weekend.

One of them is Happenstance, a French film with English subtitles. The movie involves an intricate story line that brings people together throughout one day in Paris to change their fate.

In his directorial debut, Laurent Firode leads a host of strangers around his somewhat complex script. The film stars Audrey Tatou, the adorable star of Amélie.

The film will run from Friday through Feb. 21.

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