Shaving a hefty 75 minutes off Tarkovsky's original (and ponderous) 1972 sci-fi classic, director/writer/cinematographer/editor Steven Soderbergh delivers a tight, punchy fable about a crippled space station, a glowing planet, a terrified crew, a lonely psychiatrist (Clooney) and the memories of loss that bind them together. The moods here are both melancholic and thought provoking, while Soderbergh regular Cliff Martinez's lightly tintinnabulating score is utterly beguiling.
Though it didn't burn up the box office during its theatrical release, Danny Boyle's jittery zombie flick is actually a far more satisfying small-screen experience. Gone is the distracting texture of large-scale digital video, and gone too is the weight of expectation (will it be better than The Beach?). Instead, the movie simply plays as it is—a brashly original post-apocalyptic B-movie.
The first screen outing for a post-collegiate comedy team calling themselves Broken Lizard, Super Troopers is a spoof knockabout farce concerning clownish highway patrolmen in small-town Vermont. With Brian Cox as the indulgent police chief presiding over the goofy jokes and motorist-baffling stunts, writer-director-star Jay Chandrasekhar's feature debut is slight but sporadically hilarious.
Underrated comedy-drama from Chuck & Buckteam. Jennifer Aniston's fine as a frustrated store-worker who cheats on pothead John C Reilly with Jake Gyllenhaal, in another Holden Caulfield-type role. The feel reminds you of James Mangold before he went shit.
Riding the ever-popular straight-man-gay-world comedy wave (see Happy, Texas, Three To Tango, In And Out), debut writers, actors and co-producers Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen add a distaff twist with their tale of a bi-curious gallery manager and her impulsive fling with a neurotic Jewish copy editor. The lines are witty, the nods to Annie Hall ubiquitous, though the resolution is strangely conservative.
Since The Last Seduction, John Dahl hasn't quite delivered the skilful thrills we hoped for. This pacy revamp of Duel and Breakdown is a lunge in the right direction, though. Paul Walker, Steve Zahn and Leelee Sobieski star as brash young things who turn yellow when a trucker they've taunted chases them cross-country, vengeance in mind. Fast and furious.
Brazenly preposterous Manhattan thriller follows clinical psychologist Michael Douglas as he tries desperately to extract the location of a stolen jewel from the mind of trauma patient Brittany Murphy to satisfy the demands of crazed kidnapper Sean Bean. Eminently ludicrous stuff, but wonderfully anchored by Douglas' trademark beleaguered male schtick.