On The Screen
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.
HHH The Dark Crystal
While Jim Henson's most famous creations, Sesame Street and the Muppets, are centered upon education or humor, The Dark Crystal is truly an otherworldly experience. The movie is about one of the last races of Gelflings, Jen, who sets out to find the lost shard of the Crystal and return it before the next Great Conjunction, a rare lunar event. The puppets for The Dark Crystal were Henson's most complex, done with the help of Froud and Stuart Freeborn, who also worked on The Empire Strikes Back. At the box office, The Dark Crystal was a meager success because of a poor marketing and little support from outside producers, but it deserves attention this weekend. -Ken Clary. Sunday at LSC.
HHHH Fellini Satyricon
After 8 1/2 Federico Fellini basically made the same movie over and over, using different stories and sets and casts to paint moving pictures of the splendor and grotesquerie of life. Of these the best are Amarcord, Fellini Roma, Intervista, and Fellini Satyricon, and in this select group, Satyricon has a special place. The story of two young men competing for the fickle love of an adolescent boy, the film moves across a landscape of Roman Empire decadence not much different in the director's eyes from the capitalist excesses of late twentieth century Italian society. Based on the fragments of an ancient novel, Fellini's narrative is also fragmentary, picking up the story in mid-stream and fading away at the end without a resolution. But the potential frustration this might cause is more than allayed by the sights and sounds the film offers, a phantasmagoria for the senses, and perhaps the director's finest, most subtle use of color. -SB. Tonight at LSC.
Infinity is the film adaptation of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, two autobiographies by Richard Feynman '39. Matthew Broderick plays the lead role and also directs this story about a little-known aspect of Feynman's life - his marriage to Arline Greenbaum (played by Patricia Arquette) and her death to Hodgkin's Disease. Infinity is at its best when it is focused on Feynman's exploits, like when he breaks into the supposedly impenetrable home of the Manhattan Project, but most of the time is spent on Greenbaum's deterioration, making Infinity feel more like a made-for-TV movie than a full-fledged screen biopic. -Yaron Koren. Kendall Square Cinema.
HHH Michael Collins
While it's not quite the equal of Lawrence of Arabia, Michael Collins is still one of the rare movies on an epic scale made with an intelligence powerful enough to control and shape it. Collins is known as the inventor of modern guerrilla warfare. He flashed across the firmament in the years just following World War I, and accomplished the work of centuries - forcing the British out of Ireland - by the time he was 31 years old. Under the direction of Neil Jordan, Liam Neeson brings this complicated hero, often at war with himself, to vivid, emotional life. Ably assisted by Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman, and even Julia Roberts, Neeson fills the role with an authority that justifies Collins' nickname, "The Big Fella." Jordan has done a masterful job of distilling the historical record and educating his audience about the Irish Revolution, but his insistence on constant movement - soaring camerawork, many scenes on moving vehicles, constant cross-cutting during climactic moments - can leave us feeling a little seasick. -SB. Sony Assembly Square.