THRItl Ht PANIC ROOM (15) 112min coco



A great director divining gold from pulp

David Fincher is Orson Welles. Well, obviously not; he doesn’t share the latter’s profligacy for weight gain and huge cigars for one thing, but there is an uncanny similarity in these two men’s career trajectories. The influence of Fincher’s second film Se7en on recent US cinema is as undeniable as that of Citizen Kane on post-war Hollywood. The Game and Fight Club were exercises in form in the same way The Magnificent Ambersons and Journey into Fear were for Welles. And now we have Fincher pulling a Lady From Shanghai, namely the act of a great director divining gold from pulp.

When Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) and her daughter Sarah move into a beautiful Manhattan apartment, they are informed of the house’s unique ‘panic room’ - a safe place to hide in case of emergencies. Meg and Sarah have use for that room sooner than they think, on the first night when three house thieves come a calling.

Between David Koepp’s pristine script, Darius Khondji and Conrad W. Hall’s whirlygig camerawork and Fincher’s slow riser direction this is deliciously watchable. Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam hit their marks as the three incompetent thieves who are kind, stupid and psychotic, respectively. It is the set, however, that steals the show. It is difficult to think of another film in which a domestic enclave takes such a beating during the course of the movie and still emerges looking so classically cinematic. There is also an uncredited vocal performance by Nicole Kidman in this film. See if you can spot it. (Paul Dale)

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ANlMAl ION ICE AGE (U) 77min coco

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PAULETTE (PG) 78min 0000


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(15) 97min .0

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<X) DY llllill l i lt SHOWTIME (12) 91 min 000

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Although relyrng on explosrons and rneessant (:ar' ehase scenarios. as the n‘ovre progresses. the good (:op had (:op. hlaek gu‘, u'rhrte gus, drtterenees are thankfull; never explorted. \"~.’here rt reallfi.’ seores rs that :t's iunns, and entertarnrng. De Nrro (:on‘tortal)l';. plays the role of the strarght-laeed serrous eop and Eddre Murphy rs at ease playrng the s.'.'rse(:ra(:krng Joker. r\"‘.’ar‘ner VHS and DVD rental and r‘etarlr 'Catrrona Shearer.

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