By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
World Trade Center
Starring:Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Directed by:Oliver Stone (J.F.K., The Doors)
Written by:Andrea Berloff
What it's about:Cage and Peña play real-life Port Authority cops who made it out of the World Trade Center alive after the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001. Word is this isn't the work of a paranoid Ollie Stone, but a sober, down-to-the-details docudramatization of the events of the day, already seen this year in United 93.
Why you should see it:Cage is at his best when playing an everyman stuck in a horrific, real-life situation (his portrayal of an EMT in Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Deadremains among his career highlights, even if no one saw it).
Why you should not:Oliver Stone's a real hit-or-miss moviemaker; pray this is closer to Platoonand Salvador than Alexander or Any Given Sunday. Or Natural Born Killers. Or U-Turn. Or Nixon.
Starring:Tim Allen, Courteney Cox Arquette, and Chevy Chase
Directed by: Peter Hewitt (Garfield)
Written by:David Berenbaum (Elf) and Adam Rifkin (Small Soldiers)
What it's about:Remember that Disney movie Sky High, about a retired superhero and the superschool his kids attend? This is pretty much the same thing, but with a bigger budget. And it's based on an actual comic book, Zoom's Academy for the Super-Gifted.
Why you should see it: Sky High was fun . . .
Why you should not: . . . But do we need another version? Tim Allen instead of Kurt Russell isn't exactly what you'd call trading up.
Starring:Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol ), and Marisa Tomei
Directed by:Bent Hamer
Written by:Hamer and Jim Stark, based on the novel by Charles Bukowski
What it's about:Dillon plays Henry Chinaski (Bukowski's alter-ego) in this movie about drinking, writing, having sex, and drinking. In other words, Bukowski.
Why you should see it:Dillon hasn't had a role this dark and juicy since Drugstore Cowboy, and the wonderful Lili Taylor just hasn't had enough roles, period.
Why you should not:Aren't we, as a people, dead-tired of Bukowski yet? Mickey Rourke nailed it in 1987's Barfly, and there hasn't been anything new to say about talented but pathetic drunks ever since.
Snakes on a Plane
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