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On The Screen



As private investigator Ace Ventura, Jim Carrey monkeys around in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

HHHH:Excellent

HHH:Good

HH:Average

H:Poor

HH1/2 Casino

Casino is director Martin Scorsese's latest mob film. The setting is Las Vegas in the 1970s, when the mob was still in control of the casinos - before they became too much trouble and were forced out of Vegas by the feds. The story follows three characters through the downfall: Ace (Robert DeNiro), a casino boss trying to run a respectable casino; Nicky (Joe Pesci), Ace's childhood friend and violent partner who's trying to organize Vegas street crime; and Ginger (Sharon Stone), Ace's troubled wife. Casino tries to follow closely the lives of each character, but this comes at a price: the movie is long (nearly three hours) and moves very slowly. The characters are fairly interesting but not enough to compensate. Casino is not nearly as good as Scorsese's last mob film, GoodFellas, which I can more confidently recommend. -David V. Rodriguez.Sony Cheri.

HHH Get Shorty

John Travolta continues his astonishing career comeback, proving that there is life after Pulp Fiction. In this tongue-in-cheek adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, Travolta plays Chili Palmer, a Miami loanshark on assignment in Hollywood to track down people who skipped payment of their debts: In particular, he meets Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), an independent filmmaker who pitches an idea for a screenplay which Chili thinks has some promise - enough for Chili to consider producing Harry's film. In the process, Chili becomes involved with Harry's actress-girlfriend (Rene Russo), fends off the predatory advances of Harry's drug-dealing investor (Delroy Lindo), and woos the elusive, but diminuitive, star for the film (Danny DeVito). The story may be slow compared to the slam-bang approach of Pulp Fiction, but the acting and dialogue are rich in dark, subtle comic undertones. The ending is too neat and the production values are a little too slick, but Travolta's cool on-screen demeanor is a treat to watch. -Scott C. Deskin. Sony Harvard Square.

HHH1/2 Goldeneye

Goldeneye is an all-out fun ride. From the beginning to the end, it is a true Bond film, and it is just fun to watch. I was left wanting more. Bond fans should not despair; the film is definitely worth the long wait. The movie has action, suspense, and all the other aspects that make the Bond films so wonderful. There's a new Bond in town and his name is Pierce Brosnan. Remember it because it looks like he's going to be around for a while. -Daniel Ramirez. Sony Cheri.

H The Net

The latest vehicle for fresh-faced Sandra Bullock is a painful bore. Bullock is a reclusive computer security expert whose life is thrown into turmoil when she gets her hands on some software that enables her to get in the "back door" of major government agencies. The bad guys are soon in pursuit, and our heroine is subjected to a series of nasty incoveniences such as her identity being changed, her house being sold, and her disappearance going unnoticed by unfriendly neighbors or her Alzheimer's disease-stricken mother. The only thing worse than the giant plot holes is the presentation of computers in the film, whose simple, large-type interfaces are an unintentionally humorous Hollywood misconception. -SD. LSC, Saturday.

H1/2 Powder

Most likely created by some sort of mythic, the film Powder is indeed strange. Powder is the story of the wacky, wild adventures of an albino and completely hairless teenager who has the power to use an extraordinary amount of his brain capacity. Title character Powder (Sean Patrick Flannery) scores completely off the scale on a school IQ test and can recite any page of any book he's ever read. Due to his mother's having been struck by lightning during her pregnancy, Powder also has a mysterious biomagnetic ability that affects electronic instruments around him and enables him to manipulate things electrically and magnetically. Of course, he's also telepathic. It is on the whole a poorly constructed and clichéd film that ends up with an awkward message. With cliché after cliché and an abundance of predictable scenes, it's a wonder anyone could think this movie was worth making. -Rob Wagner. Sony Cinema 57.

HH Seven

The latest entry in the genre of psychological thrillers, Seven offers viewers the gimmick of a serial killer who masterminds his murders based on the seven deadly sins. Morgan Freeman is the archetypal police detective on the verge of retiring, and Brad Pitt plays his young, idealistic counterpart. Together, they must join forces to outsmart the criminal. The film is filled with darkness, and it employs this effect to represent the moralistic undercurrents of the movie. However, this theme fades to a mere afterthought in the wake of a murky plot, incomprehensible dialogue, and a predictable conclusion. Director David Fincher (Alien3) does little to distinguish the film from being a clone of films like The Silence of the Lambs. -Benjamin Self. Sony Cinema 57.