March 11
c o n t e n t s

Independent Film Gets ‘Down and Dirty’

Depp Pushes, But Can’t Open ‘Secret Window’

Not a Typical ‘Japanese Story’

Opening This Weekend
by Jeremy Mathews

“Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London”
MGM Pictures
Rated PG
(Not reviewed)

Everyone’s favorite mediocre “Spy Kids” knockoff, starring Frankie Muniz, returns in “Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London.” Expect shots of Big Ben, the Tower of London and…let’s say Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.

“The Company”
Sony Picture Classics
Rated PG-13
3.5 reels (out of four)

Robert Altman’s entrancing study of the dance community opened briefly awhile ago, but the Broadway is bringing it back.

The ensemble film centers around Neve Campbell as an up-and-coming dancer in an elite troupe full of ambitious and tormented ballet dancers. Campbell was a dancer, so there aren’t any distracting long shots or examples of obviously poor dancing (except to experts, I’m sure). Malcolm McDowell is striking as the company director, who aims to be simultaneously flattering and intimidating. James Franco is also good as Campbell’s supportive, neglected boyfriend.

Altman captures the fragile facts of the business with his documentary-like style. He doesn’t attack or praise the ballet community, he just shows it like it is.

“Japanese Story”
3 reels (out of four)
Opening at Broadway
See review

“Secret Window”
2.5 reels (out of four)
See review

Warner Bros.
Rated R
(Not reviewed)

One might think it a bad sign when the new David Mamet film isn’t screened for critics. But there is some positive word of mouth from the top 10 markets where there were screenings for “Spartan,” the great writer’s new thriller. On the Internet Movie Database, “poetellect” gives it an A, and if you can’t trust him, who can you trust?

Val Kilmer stars as an investigator trying to uncover the complex, labyrinthine truths of the kidnapping of a prominent political figure’s daughter. I think the trailer gave away the identity of the political figure, but I’ll keep it a secret.

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