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The Big Bounce

Elmore Leonard's first modern fiction novel was originally filmed in 1969 with Ryan O'Neal in the starring role. It flopped. This remake (directed by Miami Blues' George Armitage) fares no better; it drifts aimlessly, while Owen Wilson's small-time crook, drawn into a relationship with the thrill-seeking girl of a local property developer, never engages your feelings. Morgan Freeman, Charlie Sheen and Vinnie Jones co-star.

A Mighty Wind

Affectionate, often very funny Christopher Guest comedy that gently sends up the American folk scene that Dylan fiercely put paid to. It's no Spinal Tap and probably not as hilariously fresh as Best In Show, but Guest and his familiar repertory company—co-writer Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Catherine O'Hara and Parker Posey among them—turn in typically irresistible performances.

Mystic River

In Clint Eastwood's self-consciously stately film of Dennis Lehane's cracking thriller, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon are former childhood friends, estranged by trauma, thrown into adult conflict by tragedy following the murder of Penn's teenage daughter. The novel is raw, seething, but Eastwood's stern, sober direction makes the film a bit of a slog, worthy but oddly unengaging, stripped of tension and the true sense of place Lehane brought to the book.

Wilbur (Wants To Kill Himself)

Kooky low-budget Brit-flick gets a moribund Scandinavian once-over as Danish Dogme disciple Lone Scherfig (Italian For Beginners) directs this contrived tale of two contrasting Glaswegian brothers—one is dying, one wants to die; one is sexy, one is square, etc—caught in a love triangle with mousy hospital worker Shirley Henderson. Annoying.

Young Adam

Novelist Alexander Trocchi's uneasy blend of Beat existentialism and pseudo porn continue to gnaw in this stylish adaptation of his 1954 whodunnit. Ewan McGregor is suitably dour as the sinister drifter while director David Mackenzie proves himself a master of sustained gloom. But it's the sex scenes, progressing from erotic to self-conscious to simply absurd, that continually corrode.
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