It's a dog-eat-dog world

  • 2004-02-05
  • By Laimons Juris G
Good Boy! Doggoned, after viewing a slew of grotesque and disappointing films this little comedy feels like a stroke of genius in the great wide world of feature fantasies.This movie's leading character is a talking dog from the Sirius constellation the Dog Star system, of course. Reeking of pith and pathos, Good Boy! is trimmed with sugarcoated nonsense.

The voice talents of Matthew Broderick, who sounds more like Nathan Lane, along with Brittany Murphy and others, add to the ho-hum atmosphere. How-
ever, it cannot be denied, the live actors do an excellent job with the characters they portray. Molly Shannon is an ideal mom, but then she is always terrific in any part she plays. Liam Aiken is also perfect as the lead human-kid.
In the age of computer generated images, Good Boy! lacks any technological additives. There are no imagined characters on the screen and everything looks as if it's been seen before. You won't find any original concepts here. But mothers with babies still in pampers will just love this afternoon time filler - tuned in at a low volume, of course.

Intolerable Cruelty. Well, it's about time for a genuine comedy to finally make the rounds. Intolerable Cruelty spoofs yet another great American institution: divorce.
It is thoroughly heartwarming, as well as uplifting, to truly enjoy a good performance by an actor. At long last George Clooney is allowed to cut loose in this polished and professional Coen brothers adventure. The talented Californian actor is the closest we'll ever get to that all time classic American favorite, Cary Grant. The silver screen burns and sizzles every time the lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones appears.
III 1/2

The Last Samurai. In the late 19th century, Japan was rapidly changing as it opened itself up to the West. According to custom and tradition the hereditary warrior class in feudal Japan were called Samurai. Their Bushido or code stressed unquestioning loyalty and more than anything else valued honor above life. The Last Samurai is essentially a long, visually opulent poem with some remarkable battle scenes - none of which are computer generated. The meticulous attention to detail is typical of director Edward Zwick (Legends of the Fall).
Every supporting actor is superb; however, Ken Watanabe is especially noteworthy in his Oscar-worthy blaze of glory performance. As for Tom Cruise, he's all right in the part, but serves more as an ornament or piece of furniture in this effort. Nevertheless, The Last Samurai is a professionally crafted epic spectacle well worth watching with or without Cruise. This is entertainment packed with thrills.

IIIII Excellent. Don't miss it!
IIII Very good. See it!
III Good. It's up to you.
II Average. Nothing special.
I Waste of time. Forget it.