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Friday, Dec. 2, 2005

Short takes: Nov. 3, 2005


"Mr. & Mrs. Smith"

Director: Doug Liman
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

The fire seems to have gone out for John and Jane Smith (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie). Maybe it is the fact that they are both hiding their true identities as skilled assassins working for rival groups from each other that led to their marital breakdown. This all changes when the spouses are told to go after the same target. They get in each other's way when they finally find out one another's true identity, and both fail to accomplish their mission. The real sparks then begin to fly for their next assignment: elimination of their better half.


"Opal Dreams"

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Based on Ben Rice's novella "Pobby and Dingan," "Opal Dreams" is an uplifting film set in the Australian outback and directed by Peter Cattaneo ("The Full Monty"). Pobby and Dingan are the invisible friends of a 9-year-old girl, Kellyanne (Sapphire Boyce). Her older brother, Ashmol (Christian Byers), exasperates at his sister's odd behavior but is forced to take notice when Kellyanne announces Pobby and Dingan have gone missing.


"Four Brothers"

Director: John Singleton
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

From the director of "Boyz n The Hood," John Singleton's latest reunites four brothers by adoption, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund), in their hometown of Detroit when their mother is murdered during a holdup. As the four try to track down the killers, they find out there is more to the story than just random, petty violence.


"Freaks"

Director: Tod Browning
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Made in 1932 by director Tod Browning, who was riding high on the success of "Dracula," the cult classic "Freaks" was quickly banned. Now digitally restored, it is the story of circus freaks -- midgets, pinheads, hermaphrodites, Siamese twins and a "human worm" -- who take revenge on a beautiful acrobat and jocklike strongman who try to grift one of them. One of cinema's earliest examples of misfits vs. straights where the outsiders come out on top, it resonated through counterculture into places like Bill Griffith's "Zippy The Pinhead" comics and David Lynch's film "Eraserhead." (Giovanni Fazio)


"Millions"

Director: Danny Boyle
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

With his latest film, director Danny Boyle ("Trainspotting") demonstrates almost as much skill at creating a modern fairy tale as he does portraying the nitty-gritty in his previous films. When young brothers Damian (Alex Etel) and Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) are playing, they come across £230,000. As the British pound is about to be replaced by the new Euro, the two must go through the money as quickly as possible. (Kaori Shoji)



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