The Tailor Of Panama

Much too talky. But some of the talk is by John Le Carre, who adapted his own novel with Andrew Davis and director John Boorman. And Pierce Brosnan, who plays a British spy, puts an arch spin on his James Bond credentials. They help this semicomedy claim the oxymoronic status of being an Austin Powers movie for grown-ups. Brosnan’s spy enlists a cockney ex-con (Geoffrey Rush) who’s working as a tailor for the rich and famous to be his main contact; other significant characters include the tailor’s wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) and business partner (Leonor Varela) and a British diplomat (Catherine McCormack) the spy is pursuing. If you don’t find the cynicism of this mordant look at corruption too distastefuland ideologically speaking, it’s certainly an improvement over Boorman’s Beyond Rangoonyou’re likely to have a fair amount of fun. 109 min. (JR)

Published on 27 Mar 2001 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Someone Like You

A so-so romantic comedy about people working on a TV talk show in Manhattan, simultaneously enlivened and made hard to take by the cast. The problem, at least for me, is that the leads (Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, and Greg Kinnear) are so busy being cute that sometimes they forget to act like human beings, while the secondary female cast is treated rather cruelly, presumably for not being as cute as the leads. These are common (albeit creepy) limitations of silly Hollywood comedies of this kind, and if you haven’t minded them elsewhere you probably won’t object to them here. Adapted by Elizabeth Chandler from Laura Zigman’s novel Animal Husbandry and directed by Tony Goldwyn (A Walk on the Moon); with Marisa Tomei and Ellen Barkin. 97 min. (JR)

Published on 20 Mar 2001 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Beautiful Creatures

A watchable thriller, about two abused gangsters’ molls (Rachel Weisz and Susan Lynch) in Glasgow who join forces to save their own skins. It isn’t exactly Thelma & Louise, but it periodically recalls that picture, and arguably goes some distance beyond it in making virtually all its male characters apart from a likable dog named Pluto brutal scumbags who deserve everything they get. Writer and coproducer Simon Donald offers an efficient plot, and director Bill Eagles knows how to pace the actors and action while delivering it. With Tom Mannion, Maurice Roeves, and Iain Glen. 86 min. (JR)

Published on 19 Mar 2001 in Featured Texts, by admin

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