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Volume 69, Issue 18, Thursday, September 18, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Theatres fill with mediocre movies

By Andrew Beard
The Daily Cougar

Last weekend's film releases made it safe to head back to the theaters with Once Upon a Time in Mexico snatching the top spot from the unworthy David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. This weekend, however, offers a slew of mediocre-looking projects, including Haley Joel Osment's crackly-voiced return to the screen, a Quaid-Stone-Dorff- horror movie, a dark vampire epic starring Kate Beckinsale (Beckin-who?), a Cuba Gooding Jr. choral movie co-starring Mrs. Jay-Z, and a promising indie film by Francis Ford Coppola's daughter (yes, the one that ruined Godfather 3).

As Michael Caine rambled through his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor in The Cider House Rules at the 2000 Oscars, he stopped mid speech, looked directly at Haley Joel Osment and said, "And to Haley Osment. When I saw The Sixth Sense, I said, 'There goes my Oscar.'" Osment nodded respectfully back to Caine, and the two seemed destined to meet again someday on screen. Add Robert Duval, and you have Secondhand Lions.

Cold Creek Manor comes out on the heels of a successful weekend for Cabin Fever, but instead of a flesh-eating virus visiting a remote country house, it's Sharon Stone (too easy). Stone and Dennis Quaid star as a couple moving to the country to get away from the stresses of city life. The dream becomes derailed, however, when Stephen Dorff shows up with dirty photos of the murdered family that previously owned the house. The resident weird goth movie for this weekend comes in the form of The Underworld, starring Kate Beckinsale. Beckinsale is mostly remembered for her ultra sappy roles in Pearl Harbor and Serendipity, which is precisely why she made The Underworld. 

The Fighting Temptations, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles, is pretty much what the previews say it will be: Singing, dancing, hollering and bad Steve Harvey jokes. 

The most intriguing film opening this weekend, Lost in Translation, stars Bill Murray as an American actor/comedian selling out in Japan to shoot food commercials. Along the way he meets Scarlet Johansen (Ghost World), a young woman married to an overly ambitious and neglectful director. The story follows their relationship, which critics say is more realistic than most May-November romance movies. 

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