February 26
c o n t e n t s
In The Venue Offers Diversity in Concert Lineup, President Bush Supports Gay Marriage
‘The Kooch’ Discusses Peace, Prosperity, Other Things

Opening This Weekend
by Jeremy Mathews

“The Barbarian Invasions”
4 reels (out of four)
(See review)

“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”
Miramax Films
Rated PG-13
(out of four)

Has the dancing gotten dirtier to catch up with the times since 1987’s “Dirty Dancing?” Well, “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” is set in the 1950s shortly before the revolution in Cuba, but it turns out that Cubans back then did dance in a pretty dirty fashion.

This movie isn’t so much a sequel as a reworking of the formula of forbidden love. And the film includes a cameo from Patrick Swayze as a dance instructor in Cuba.

Romola Garai plays an American who moves to Havana when her father gets promoted and meets a dancin’ pool boy played by Diego Luna, the promising actor who co-starred in “Y Tu Mama También.”

Some of the dancing is well-executed, but none of the dialogue is. While there are some nice moments, including one in which the dirty dancers dance over a projected film of the girl’s parents, the film abandons its formula with an odd coitus interruptus during the climax. If the film worked in any way other than its dance sequences, director Guy Ferland might have been able to pull it off. But the film ends with a series of embarrassingly bad scenes. I can usually predict negative reviews when I hear snickering in the critics’ section, but one line inspired laughing in the entire theater.

“The Passion of Christ”
3.5 reels (out of four)
(See review)

Paramount Pictures
Rated R
(Not reviewed)

Almost 14 years ago, Philip (“The Right Stuff”) Kaufman’s film “Henry & June” marked the first NC-17 rating. It was intended to open artistically important films with sex in them not to suffer the X stigma. We see how well that’s worked, as the new “The Dreamers” (opening here next week) is one of few films that has received a major release with that dreaded rating.

In only Kaufman’s second film since “Henry & June,” Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia star in “Twisted.” Judd’s a police detective investigating a series of murders in which all her ex-boyfriends are the victims. A poll shows that 85 percent of single men still want to date Ashley Judd.

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