The low-down on this week's premieres
Keanu Reeves travels to the depths of hell and attempts to match wits with Lucifer a la 1997's The Devil's Advocate, in Constantine, a film based on the DC comic book Hellblazer. Along for the demonic detour into the underworld is actress Rachel Weisz (Runaway Jury), who is looking for answers to her twin sister's death, and Peter Stormare (Chocolat), who follows the lead of actors like Harvey Keitel (Little Nicky), Jack Nicholson (The Witches of Eastwick), and Gabriel Byrne (End of Days) in his portrayal of Satan. See review, page 26.
Although moviegoers might not know the question, the answer is Because of Winn-Dixie, a puppy picture about the friendship between a girl and her smiling dog. The film introduces actress Annasophia Robb, an 11-year-old Natalie Portman look-alike, and features Dave Matthews - yes, that Dave Matthews. Let's hope Dixie is more like My Dog Skip and less like Benji: Off the Leash!
Another Jim Carrey-less sequel (who remembers the horrible Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd?), Son of the Mask stars Jamie Kennedy (Malibu's Most Wanted) and features a trailer spot in which an infant, who looks much like the "ooga chaka" baby from Ally McBeal, finds the Mask of Loki. What's next? Ace Ventura starring Scott Baio?
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you remake another William Shakespeare play, do we not wish to watch? With the Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Joseph Fiennes, we just might be in the mood for a pound of 16th-century flesh.
An Academy Award-winner for her 1996 short documentary Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien, director Jessica Yu guides us In the Realms of the Unreal, the story of madman/genius Henry Darger `see "Lost in personal space," February 10-16, 2005`, an artist who spent most of his life working on a 15,000-page book of illustrations that focused on the battle between good and evil. If creative psychotics don't do it for you, here's another gem: The film is narrated by the coolest girl on the playground, Dakota Fanning.