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Blogs THE ALAMO (2004) (***)

The latest telling of the Alamo tale had a host of strikes against it going into theaters. First, it was supposed to star Russell Crowe and be directed by Ron Howard, but they stepped down from the picture after Disney wouldn’t allow Howard to make this his SAVING PRIVATE RYAN with all the blood and gore he could muster. So Disney brought in THE ROOKIE director John Lee Hancock to craft a PG-13 version of the tale. With a budget of $95 million and a box office gross of only $22 million, you think Disney would have been better off letting Howard make his more adult version?

Come on, I bet you a lot of teens or even 20-somethings won’t even know whom William Travis is. This isn’t a tale for the mall crowd. In the end, the Hancock film still deals with the real men that participated in the story and not the legends that surround them.

Blogs TAKING LIVES (2004) (**)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:53pm

Scene: Hollywood execs sitting in a big office. One turns to the other. "Hey, let's make a film where a serial killer plans out elaborate ways to kill people, taunting the police along the way." Second exec, "I don't know, what's the twist." First exec, "It's set in Canada." Second exec, "Brilliant… and we can film it there too." Brilliant?

I'm pretty much a sucker for detective stories. I like mysteries. But the formula is getting old. When I first saw the trailer for this film and saw Angelina Jolie lying in the grave, I wanted to vomit. Grand dramatic gestures by cops are so lame. RED DRAGON nailed how to show a detective getting into the mind of the killer in my book. Additionally, TAKING LIVES throws common sense out the window. Time and time again, the contrivances of the plot make you shake your head.

Blogs RIPLEY'S GAME (2003) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:47pm

This sequel to THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY was always intended to be a theatrical release, but Fine Line bailed on it and the film went direct-to-video. The film works as an interesting morality thriller where the emotionless and amoral Tom Ripley (John Malkovich, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH) wraps dying innocent Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott, ENIGMA) in a web of assassinations for insulting him at a party.

The delight of this film is the devilishly witty interplay between Ripley, Trevanny and Reeves (Ray Winstone, SEXY BEAST), the criminal Ripley wishes would have stayed in his past. Trevanny’s moral dilemma is at the core of the film. He signs on to do an awful thing for a good reason, but finds that no bad thing goes unpunished.

Blogs SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER… AND SPRING (2004) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:32pm

This poetic Buddhist story has a lot to say about life and death, sin and redemption and love. The metaphor of the changing season representing the stages of life isn't a revolutionary artistic touch, but director Ki-duk Kim does it with original and breathtaking beauty.

Each season represents a different section in the life of the film’s characters. An old monk (Yeong-su Oh, LITTLE MONK) lives on a small floating house in a lake in the mountains. He is in care of a young boy (Jong-ho Kim, film debut) who he teaches metaphorical lessons about life and death. When the boy becomes a teen (Jae-kyeong Seo, RESURRECTION OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL), a young sick girl (Yeo-jin Ha, film debut) comes into the care of the monk. The teenage apprentice is quickly smitten by the girl. What happens next I will leave as a surprise. But I will say, the film deals with the issues of rebellion, temptation and redemption.

Blogs THE SON (2003) (****)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:18pm

In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Olivier (Olivier Gourmet, READ MY LIPS), a Belgium carpenter who works at a center for troubled children. He is asked to take on another student named Francis (Morgan Marinne, THE SEXUAL LIFE OF THE BELGIANS), but refuses claiming that his class is full. After Francis leaves, Olivier follows after the boy and watches him and the film allows us to discover the situation as things unfold naturally.

People will think ominous things throughout the film, which will keep them glued to the screen. It's amazing how well-written drama can have a viewer on the edge of their seats like a thriller. This film has gotten universal praise winning prizes at Cannes and making several top ten lists. It deals with a story of loss in a very natural way. Once secrets are revealed one will see that the story could have been extremely melodramatic, but the directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (ROSETTA) have the patience to just observe and let the audience make up their minds.

Blogs PEOPLE I KNOW (2003) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:11pm

This film chronicles the faltering life of once big-time PR man Eli Wurman (Al Pacino, ANGELS IN AMERICA). He only has one more client – Cary Launer (Ryan O’Neal, LOVE STORY), an aging star who parties like a 20-year-old with women in their twenties. One of Eli’s less glamorous duties is to cover up Launer’s indiscretions like bailing out actress Jilli Hopper (Tea Leoni, FAMILY MAN) from jail.

Eli is falling apart. He is taking who knows how many prescription and illegal drugs. His doctor and friend Sandy (Robert Klein, TWO WEEKS NOTICE) is worried about him and so is his little brother’s widow Victoria (Kim Basinger, 8 MILE), who has come to New York to convince him to move down South with her again. In the midst of all of the mayhem, Eli is trying to put together a fundraiser for immigrants where he’s trying to get high-profile businessman Elliot Sharansky (Richard Schiff, TV’s THE WEST WING) and civil rights leader Rev. Lyle Blunt (Bill Nunn, SPIDER-MAN) to appear together.

Blogs OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH'S WAR ON JOURNALISM (2004) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 10:01pm

Anyone who pays attention to journalistic integrity and HOW the news is reported will find this film intriguing. If you pay attention to the above issues and have ever watch the Fox News Channel than you will find the film a no-brainer.

Despite, it’s catch phrase of “fair and balanced,” the Fox News Channel is nothing more than a mouth piece for News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch’s right wing political agenda. Up until recently, I had never watched Fox News, but I heard so much about its bias that I had to check it out. It didn’t take too long before it became abundantly clear, which political side this network is on. The documentary does a wonderful job of breaking down the Fox News model and showing how it subtly at times leads the news discussion to its conservative point of view.

Blogs LAWS OF ATTRACTION (2004) (**)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:53pm

It is a testament to Julianne Moore’s (THE HOURS) talent that I didn’t realize just how badly written her character was until close to the end of the film. She plays straight-laced divorce lawyer Audrey Woods who loses her first case to disheveled attorney Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Bronson, THE TAILOR OF PANAMA).

The film is an “opposites attract”/”free-spirit teaches anal person to learn how to love” type film. All the characters are one-dimensional and rarely display any real human emotions or logic. Plus the plot doesn’t seem to know what it wants. Woods and Rafferty get drunk and then hook up, which Woods is ashamed of and then later they get drunk, in Ireland of all places, and get married. (I am giving no more away than the trailer did). If the drunk hook-up is lame than the drunk marriage is pathetic.

Blogs THE WORST WITCH (1986) (**1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:51pm

This British TV movie was based on the first book in the popular series, which was written and illustrated by Jill Murphy. Set in a school for young witches, it's a predecessor to HARRY POTTER. I wonder if J.K. Rowling was inspired by this tale? But in light of the monster success of Rowling's "boy who lived" book series and its big budgeted feature films, THE WORST WITCH, sadly, looks like a pale imitation.

Mildred Hubble (Fairuza Balk, THE CRAFT) is the worst witch in her all-girl witching school. Miss Hardbroom (Diana Rigg, 1970’s JULIUS CAESAR) is always giving her a hard time and the snobby Ethel Hallow (Anna Kipling, TIME AFTER TIME) is always making her look like a fool. However, the school’s head mistress Miss Cackle (Charlotte Rae, TV’s FACTS OF LIFE) keeps encouraging Mildred. What the school doesn’t know is that Miss Cackle’s twin sister Agatha is plotting to take over the school. All of this occurs as the school prepares for a guest visit from The Grand Wizard (Tim Curry, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW).

Blogs THE LADYKILLERS (2004) (**1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:45pm

The Coen Bros. humor is very dry. Sometimes you don’t know if you’re supposed to be laughing or not. This works in films like FARGO, but in a film like THE LADYKILLERS, which is clearly a comedy, it really doesn’t work. This film falls into the canon of Coen somewhere along with RAISING ARIZONA, which I am not a super fan.

This film is a remake of a far better Alec Guiness comedy that also starred Peter Sellers. Professor G.H. Dorr (Tom Hanks, THE ‘BURBS) is a ringleader of a heist team that is trying to rob a riverboat gambling company. He takes a room at the house of Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall, SOUL FOOD), a highly religious woman who complains to Sheriff Wyner (George Wallace, LITTLE NICKY) on a regular basis about the local youth playing that hippity-hop music too loudly. Mrs. Munson’s house will allow Dorr and his cronies to tunnel into the riverboat’s shoreline money room and steal the cash. The gang consists of foul-mouthed inside man Gawain MacSam (Marlon Wayans, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM), special effects specialist and explosives man Garth Pancake (J.K. Simmons, SPIDER-MAN), tactical master and silent assassin The General (Tzi Ma, THE QUIET AMERICAN) and dimwitted, failed football player and the gang’s muscle Lump Hudson (Ryan Hurst, REMEMBER THE TITANS).

Blogs WONDERLAND (2003) (**1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:35pm

This true-life murder mystery takes a RASHOMON-type approach to the subject, telling us the story from various points of view. The film deals with the Wonderland Murders in Hollywood, which involved L.A.’s top club owner Eddie Nash (Eric Bogosian, IGBY GOES DOWN) and porn star John Holmes (Val Kilmer, TOMBSTONE). The problem with the film's varying points of view is that they more than muddle the truth they muddle the story as well.

Holmes was known in the porn industry as Johnny Wadd for his 14-inch penis, but the film doesn’t really deal with John as a porn star, but more as a washed-up celeb, strung out on drugs and desperate for money. The tale of the murders at the house on Wonderland Drive begins with thief David Lind (Dylan McDermott, TV’s THE PRACTICE) telling his version of events that led to the murders. He implements Holmes as the idea man behind a robbery at Nash’s house, which led Nash to kill Lind’s girlfriend Barbara (Natasha Gregson Wagner, HIGH FIDELITY) and fellow robbers Ron Launius (Josh Lucas, SWEET HOME ALABAMA) and Bill Deverell (Timothy Blake Nelson, GOOD GIRL) among others. Then we get Holmes’ tale, which blames everyone else. Trapped in Holmes’ nightmare life are his teenage girlfriend Dawn (Kate Bosworth, BLUE CRUSH) and his wife Sharon (Lisa Kudrow, TV’s FRIENDS).

Blogs JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 (2003) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:34pm

This film is the fourth in the popular Japanese horror series and it is the best. Throughout the series, the main problem has been that there isn’t a clear central character to care about. Here we have Kyoko Harase (Noriko Sakai, narrator of POKEMON: PICHU AND PIKACHU), a horror movie actress who visits the cursed house of the previous films to do a documentary. As in the other films, the curse of Kayako (Takako Fuji) and her son Toshio (Yuya Ozeki) tracks down all that have contact with the house. However, this time they seem to be toying with Kyoko, who is pregnant.

As part of the series, this film does the best job of making us care about a character who is being hunted by the curse. However, the film still lacks any fight by the characters. They all seem like helpless fodder. The inactivity of the characters gets frustrating. If they make a fifth JU-ON, I’d like to see somebody try to figure out the curse and stop it.

Blogs UNDER SIEGE (1992) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:17pm

This film is DIE HARD on a boat. Before seeing this film, I had never seen a Steven Seagal film before. It didn’t really change my perception of him all that much. He looks cool while kicking butt. He is an action actor where the adjective is more important than the noun. However, I must admit I did enjoy the adrenaline ride.

Seagal (HARD TO KILL) plays badass Navy cook Casey Ryback. He butts heads with Commander Krill (Gary Busey, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY), who plots with renegade former military officer William Stranix (Tommy Lee Jones, THE FUGATIVE) to steal his ship’s weapons then off load them to a rogue North Korean submarine that will take the nukes to the Middle East to sell them to terrorists. Like Bruce Willis in DIE HARD, Ryback finds himself in a solo battle against the crazy terrorists. However, Ryback gets a dead weight around his waist in the form of Playboy model Jordan Tate (Erika Eleniak, TV’s BAYWATCH), who was on the boat as part of a surprise party for the murdered captain.

Blogs IN MY SKIN (2003) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:17pm

In no way am I saying its as emotional wrenching or as intellectually stimulating, but this film reminded me of IRREVERSIBLE. Maybe it was the tone and it definitely has the power to make you squirm.

Director Marina de Van (UNDER THE SAND) plays the lead role of Esther, a self-loathing woman, who after having an accident that severely cuts her leg becomes obsessed with self-mutilation. The film builds slowly developing Esther’s psychology. Her friend Sandrine (Lea Drucker, SHOOTING STARS) and her boyfriend Vincent (Laurent Lucas, WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY) become quickly concerned with her dangerous behavior.

The film does a wonderful job of portraying Esther’s uncontrollable obsession. It’s amazing how the film makes you tense just by having Esther alone, because we know how dangerous she can be to herself. Eventually, she breaks with reality and takes the self-mutilation to an unimaginable level. There is a scene in this film that makes you feel so uncomfortable just like IRREVERSIBLE’s infamous rape scene. The only thing I wish the film had done more was explain this next step more. Psychologically I’m not sure what the film is trying to say.

Blogs SPACE JAM (1996) (*1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:08pm

I've been a fan of the Looney Tunes as long as I can remember. I was excited to see Warner Bros. attempting to bring them back into the mainstream, but this movie is almost unwatchable. But what can you expect from a film based on a Nike TV commercial. However, you can’t help but like Michael Jordan or the Looney Tunes (most of them that is).

The plot is cookie cutter. Aliens want to kidnap the Looney Tunes and force them to perform in an outer space amusement park. Because the aliens are short, the Looney Tunes decide to challenge them to a basketball game in exchange for their freedom. But when the aliens steal the abilities of NBA players, the Looney Tunes need help and enlist Jordan.

Blogs ELLA ENCHANTED (2004) (**)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:08pm

In general, the reviews for this film were not that good. However, Roger Ebert has been championing this film since its release, so I had to give it a shot. The film is based on a novel by Gail Carson Levine, which I have not read, however I have read that the film takes a lot of liberties with the book. First and foremost, the film really tries to be a live-action SHREK by brining pop culture and modern references into a fairy tale setting. This is where ELLA ultimately fails.

The modern winks were hit or miss throughout the film, some even groan inducing. I really think the filmmakers should have modeled the movie more after THE PRINCESS BRIDE, a masterful example of playing fantasy for laughs. Ella (Anne Hathaway, THE PRINCESS DIARIES) has been cursed with the gift of obedience. Whenever anyone tells her to do something she must obey. Once her evil step-sisters Hattie (Lucy Punch, TV’s THE 10TH KINGDOM) and Olive (Jennifer Higham, TV’s STAR) find out about the curse they set out to make Ella’s life miserable. Adding to the tension between Hattie and Ella is Hattie’s love and Ella’s dislike of the handsome prince Char (Hugh Dancy, KING ARTHUR). Ella has an activist heart and dislikes Char’s seemingly pretty boy mindlessness. However, as these types of stories go, Ella and Char are brought together. Char likes Ella because she’s not like the other girls who chase and swoon over him.

Blogs DOPAMINE (2003) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 9:00pm

Some people have found this film pretentious, but I found it fascinating. Some people found it too film school-y. I can see this with the end, but not throughout. The film was made as part of director Mark Decena’s schooling at the Sundance Institute.

Rand (John Livingston, EDTV), Winston (Bruno Campos, MIMIC 2) and Johnson (Reuben Grundy, TV’s A DIFFERENT WORLD) run a small tech company in San Francisco, working on developing an A.I. pet named Koy Koy. One night Rand and Winston meet Sarah (Sabrina Lloyd, TV’s SLIDERS) in a bar. There is an obvious instant attraction between Rand and Sarah, but Winston is more aggressive and moves in. When the investors want to test Koy Koy with kids, the guys run into Sarah again as she is the teacher at the school where Koy Koy is being tested. Rand and Sarah strike up a relationship, but their pasts hurt them from connecting 100%. Hurt by love, Rand lives in his head about “love” as a mere chemical reaction.

Blogs PORN STAR: THE LEGEND OF RON JEREMY (2001) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:59pm

Wherever you stand on the morality of pornography, it’s hard to deny it’s intriguing. And anyone who knows porn legend Ron Jeremy will be intrigued at how it is possible that a fat, hairy and fairly unattractive man who looks like he hasn’t showered in ages could be the most successful male porn actor of all time.

The film shows Jeremy as a good-natured man, who is kind and lonely. From a young age he wanted to be a performer. He stumbled into porn by accident after a picture of him appeared in PLAYGIRL, which showed off his talents – if you know what I mean. He’s been stuck in porn ever since. Known as the Clown Prince of Porn for his sense of humor, he has appeared in some mainstream films and has a side career as a stand-up comedian. However, his friend Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis describes his stand-up act perfectly – “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Blogs DOGVILLE (2004) (**1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:50pm

Lars von Trier may be the most cynical and pessimistic filmmaker around. His films often feature totally innocent characters who continuously get beat up by a selfish and uncaring world. I truly loved his film BREAKING THE WAVES, but that film had other likeable characters other than the lead. I really didn’t like DANCER IN THE DARK, because I felt the obsessive innocence if Bjork’s character was forced. This film falls in between.

When I first heard about the film, I thought the style would be my biggest problem. Set in a tiny Rocky Mountain town, the film was completely filmed on a soundstage with chalk lines on the floor representing the houses. However, this part of the film was probably one of the highlights, which is divided up into a prologue and nine chapters driven by an OUR TOWN-like narration by John Hurt (HELLBOY).

Blogs KURT & COURTNEY (1998) (**1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:49pm

Nick Broomfield is a gutsy documentarian. It’s amazing sometimes what he gets people to do on camera. I’ve seen his other celebrity docs about serial killer Aileen Wuornos and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss and it seems that Broomfield is interested at how people latch onto famous people and take advantage of them.

KURT & COURTNEY created a lot of buzz in 1998, because it was pulled from the Sundance Film Festival after Courtney Love threatened to sue. Eventually, the film was released on video and bolstered the conspiracy theories that surrounded the death of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain.

Did he really commit suicide or did his wife Love have him murdered? Broomfield starts out the doc looking into the many conspiracy theories. Could Cobain really have pulled the trigger on the rifle? Would the amount of drugs in his system really have left him unable to move, rendering suicide impossible? Bloomfield interviews private eye Tom Grant, who Love hired to originally investigate Cobain's death, Hank Harrison, Love's father, and punk singer El Duce, who all believe Love conspired to have Cobain murder. I’ve heard many people walk away from this film, saying that it proves that Love had Cobain killed, but it didn't convince me. The evidence is flawed at best or in some cases a big stretch.

Blogs JUST A KISS (2002) (*)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:44pm

This film proves that ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's opinion on things should be taken with a grain of salt. This film from 2002 was on its top ten list. It's got amateur hour written all over it.

Dag (Ron Eldard, HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG) is dating Halley (Kyra Sedgwick, WHAT'S COOKING?) and their best friend is Peter (Patrick Breen, GALAXY QUEST), whose ballet dancer girlfriend is named Rebecca (Marley Shelton, PLEASANTVILLE). From the first shot, we know that Dag and Rebecca have hooked up. Then injected into the plot is an insane bartender Paula (Marisa Tomei, MY COUSIN VINNY), who is obsessed with Peter's peanut butter commercial. In the peanut butter commercial, Peter dresses up like an eagle and it's so bad it makes local TV ads look really good. Later we meet Andre (Taye Diggs, BROWN SUGAR) who is sleeping with Rebecca and is married to Colleen (Sarita Choudhury, KAMA SUTRA).

Blogs CASA DE LOS BABYS (2003) (***1/2)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:41pm

There is a short list of directors that even in their lesser work I find greatness and inspiration. John Sayles is one of those directors. I have seen seven of his films and six I'd recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. (LIMBO, I felt was an experiment that failed). Like all his films, it is filled with dozens of well-developed characters. The worlds he creates are full like life, because there are no real side characters. The “minor characters” you know have lives that have nothing to do with the main characters.

The story chronicles the many faces of Mexican baby adoption. We are introduced to six white American woman, who are staying at a hotel where they are waiting for the day when they will be given a baby, which has taken as long as nine months. Skipper (Daryl Hannah, KILL BILL: VOL. 2) is an exercise freak and into holistic medicine. Leslie (Lili Taylor, HIGH FIDELITY) is a single, editor from New York, who the other women think may be a lesbian. Gayle (Mary Steenburgen, WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?) is a born again Christian, who actually is a real born again Christian. Nan (Marcia Gay Harden, POLLACK) is a know-it-all, who might be a little too off to be having children. Jennifer (Maggie Gyllenhaal, SECRETARY) is an emotional young woman married to a busy broker. Eileen (Susan Lynch, FROM HELL) is an Irish immigrant living in Chicago, who does not have the same kind of money the other women have.

Blogs THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (2004) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:33pm

It's an Ashton Krutcher movie, I know. Trust me, he doesn't dispel any bad acting labels in this film. However, the premise for this film is very interesting. What surprised me most about the film is that it deals with some pretty dark issues. I was surprised at how unflinchingly dark the film was, especially because it’s a mainstream sci-fi film, starring Ashton Krutcher.

Evan Treborn (Krutcher, DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?) is been having blackouts ever since he was a child. As he grows older, he discovers that through reading his journals he has the power to travel back in time and alter history. He tries to "fix" things, but with each trip back something else is altered negatively.

Blogs SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (2000) (****)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:33pm

This film is totally absurd and that’s why I loved it. The film is like an Ingmar Bergman film if Bergman was a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. The film starts off with absurd vignettes that establish a modern city, at the turn of the 21-century, that has gone into total chaos. In light of the fact that the Y2K catastrophe was just another miscalculated overreaction, the events of this film seem even more poetically ridiculous.

Director Roy Andersson takes pot shots at everything and knows the old statement that tragedy is comedy. What ties together the absurd gags is Kalle (Lars Nordh, LEADING ASTRAY) who, at the beginning of the film, wanders into a café with his face full of soot and yells at his son Stefan (Stefan Larsson, ANJA) for not taking the fact that his father’s business just burning down as all that tragic. Soon enough we find out that Kalle burnt down his furniture store on purpose to rook the insurance company into thinking he sold more expensive sofas than he really did. Kalle has another son named Tomas (Peter Roth, VÄGEN UT), who “wrote poetry until he went nuts.” One of the funniest scenes in the film takes place at the asylum when we first meet Tomas and it’s only a side gag like something out of AIRPLANE!

Blogs BON VOYAGE (2004) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 8:26pm

This French comedy evokes the style and characters of 1940s film noir, but with a humorous bent. Viviane Denvers (Isabelle Adjani, 1996’s DIABOLIQUE) is a famous French actress, who will manipulate men without a bat of an eye and with the bat of her eye. She is having an affair with a powerful minister named Jean-Etienne Beaufort (Gerard Depardieu, GREEN CARD), but she’s been toying with a childhood friend/wanna-be writer Frederic (Gregori Derangere, THE LANDLORDS).

Before too long, Viviane has both Jean-Etienne and Frederic wrapped up in murder, running from the impending Nazi invasion and trying to sneak Prof. Kopolski (Jean-Marc Stehle, CHAOS) and his heavy water out of France. Added to the mix is Prof. Kopolski’s mousey, but attractive assistant Camille (Virginie Ledoyen, THE BEACH), the helpful thief Raoul (Yvan Attal, MY WIFE IS AN ACTRESS) and the sleazy politician Alex Winckler (Peter Coyote, NORTHFORK).

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