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On The Screen

HHHH:Excellent

HHH:Good

HH:Average

H:Poor

HHH American Buffalo

Dennis Franz is a junk shop owner and Dustin Hoffman his best friend in this well-crafted film version of the David Mamet play. The movie covers the scheme the two hatch to steal a mysterious customer's coin collection while he's away on vacation, thus reaping themselves a small fortune. But Bobby (Sean Nelson), a local street youth, also wants in on the deal, and the interplay between the three in the hours before the planned heist leads to disaster. The movie is somewhat done in by its limited scope (three characters, one set) and its near-complete reliance on dialogue to carry the story. Still, the acting is superb, especially on Franz's part, and the screenplay (also by Mamet) is razor-sharp. The movie ultimately resonates with a powerful message about the corrupting influence of money on even the closest of friendships. -Yaron Koren. Coolidge Corner Theatre.

HHH1/2 Bound

Bound tells a familiar film noir story - a drifter comes into contact with a sultry, dissatisfied woman and is lured into a chain of events that escalates into some serious violence. But in this sexy, intelligent, and stylish new thriller, the drifter is a lesbian ex-con who is repainting a vacant apartment next door to a Mafia money launderer and his restless mistress. As played by Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly, these two dangerous women bond immediately, and then take on the mob and the boyfriend to snatch $2 million in a caper that will leave you breathless as it unwinds. The production design emphasizes gunmetal gray and black with highlights of white, against which red blood and green money stand out with startling intensity. Bound is tightly written, beautifully filmed, and adroitly edited to keep the tension twisting tighter and tighter. Imagine a cross between The Last Seduction, Goodfellas, and Go Fish. - Stephen Brophy. Sony Nickelodeon.

HH1/2 James and the Giant Peach

For James and the Giant Peach, Disney brings together the team from The Nightmare Before Christmas to create another film that is visually intriguing and virtually oozes with dark, surreal stop-animation. The story, adapted from the children's tale by Ronald Dahl, is given the full the Disney treatment, and is full of exuberant characters and an intriguing plot. It is a fascinating film, visually appealing, and at only 80minutes long, it certainly won't bore you. -Audrey Wu. Saturday at LSC.