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FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2004


Entertainment WHAT’S PLAYING ... I, ROBOT Earthbound sci-fi entertainment most everybody can appreciate, and one that merits mention alongside such popular favorites as “The Terminator” and “The Matrix.” Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan

THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR Combines the whimsy of “The World According To Garp” with the profundity of “The Cider House Rules.” An amply-layered study of relationships and how they form and come apart. Starring: Kim Basinger, Jeff Bridges

A CINDERELLA STORY A vapid collection of clichés and stereotypes that have already been exhausted in at least three other teengirl-in-turmoil films this year. Starring: Hilary Duff

METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER Head-bangers with feelings. We knew they had them, and now they’re accessible and cleverly juxtaposed. Starring: Metallica

MARIA FULL OF GRACE It’s easy to see why this gut-wrenching film won the Dramatic Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno

ANCHORMAN Ron Burgundy is Will Ferrell’s most side-splitting character to date. Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate

RIDING GIANTS There’s plenty here to capture the imagination of damn near anyone with the slightest sense of adventure. An entertaining and highly informative tutorial on the history of big-wave surfing. Starring: Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll

KING ARTHUR Nothing but another bromidic swordfighting flick. A hocus-pocus-less downer from the Jerry Bruckheimer factory. Starring: Keira Knightley, Clive Owen

SLEEPOVER Bring pillows because this party is sure to induce slumber. Starring: Alexa Vega

SPIDERMAN 2 Outclasses any of this summer’s bigbudget pretenders. The best comic book flick of all time. Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

BEFORE SUNSET A most unusual entity in American cinema: An exemplary sequel motivated by aestheticism rather than avarice. Starring: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke

THE CLEARING A conventional kidnapping caper elevated to excellence by deftly nuanced performances by a veteran cast. Starring: Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe.

DELOVELY Fans of the golden age of jazz will no doubt revel in this celebration of the era’s most accomplished songwriter, Cole Porter. Starring: Ashley Judd, Kevin Kline

FAHRENHEIT 9-11 No matter which side of the political fence you choose to stand on, it’s impossible not to be moved by the film’s most powerful images. Welldeserving of all the attention it’s garnering. Starring: Michael Moore

The Bourne Supremacy is quite a ride BY DAN DUNN Special to the Daily Press

The summer of stellar sequels continues with Matt Damon returning as Jason Bourne, a former CIA hit-man with mad skills and a nasty case of hypomnesia. Two years removed from a Review deadly run-in with his past, Bourne wants nothing more than to be left alone with his scattered memories and his girl (Franka Potente, back – but not for long – from the first film) at their beachfront hideaway far off the grid in India. That, of course, ain’t gonna happen. A covert op in Berlin goes wrong, Bourne is framed, and quickly set upon by both the government agency that created him and a band of murderous Russians who set him up. The hunted, however, soon becomes hunter – and this oneman wrecking crew is hellbent on avenging his lover’s death and maybe even righting a few

past wrongs. Paul Greengrass (“Bloody Sunday”) seamlessly takes over the directing duties from Doug Liman, shooting most of the action sequences with a hand-held camera that conveys a strong sense of spontaneity while heightening the intensity. It feels like we’re there, especially in a climactic car chase through the streets of Moscow that ranks among the most the goose-pimply getaways of

all time. Damon– a star who doesn’t get enough credit for his acting ability – is superb as the super-spy who operates on instinct and brute force. The instant recall of suppressed espionage ability is pulled off effortlessly, but what most impresses about Damon is the way he imbues this innately impenetrable killer with such palpable vulnerability. It’s all the more impressive given that this time around, there’s no love interest to lay bare his humanity. You DO NOT want to mess with Jason Bourne, but you might give the poor guy a hug. The supporting cast is top-notch, with Joan Allen as the CIA boss in over her head trying to nail Bourne, and the eminently watchable Brian Cox as an old-school Langley manipulator who may hold the key to the film’s central mystery. (Rated PG-13 for violence and intense action, and brief language. Running time: 108 minutes)

Matt Damon: It was fun to be deeply flawed BY DAN DUNN Special to the Daily Press

Boston’s own Matt Damon returns as memory-challenged assassin Jason Bourne in the espionage thriller, “The Bourne Supremacy,” which co-stars Joan Q&A Allen, Brian Cox and Julia Stiles. Here are some highlights from a recent interview: QUESTION: Did the rigors of this physically demanding role take a toll on you? MATT DAMON: The interesting thing about all the running in this movie is that I run a lot to stay in shape. I jog a lot, but I haven’t actually sprinted in my adulthood. I can’t even really remember the last time I’d sprinted. Sprinting is kind of a rare thing when you’re an adult, so I was shocked at how tired I got and how my legs just stiffened up. I felt kind of old out there. Q: What appeals to you about Jason Bourne? MD: I love that he’s a deeply flawed character with a really dark past. Rather than be a cookie-cutter, one-dimensional hero he’s an anti-hero in some ways. It gave me a lot to do, and made it fun to go to work in the mornings. Q: Summer movies tend to be judged by how well they do financially. Do you worry at all about how this film will perform at the box office? MD: For me, now, I really feel the lifting of any pressure. The pressure that I felt on me wasn’t to have this movie open well, it was to make a movie that I was proud of. I didn’t want to add my name to the list of people who make crappy sequels.

Q: Both “Bourne” films have featured terrific supporting casts. MD: The great thing about these movies is that they really are ensemble movies. The whole theory behind (making them) is we go to the studios and say we need the best actors we can get. Going into the second one, we had to fill the hole that was left when Chris Cooper got killed at the end of the last one. We were looking for a legendary American actor, and that of course, is Joan Allen. Q: “The Bourne Supremacy” was directed by Paul Greengrass, whose biggest prior undertaking was the documentary-style feature, “Bloody Sunday.” Were you concerned at all, going in, about his ability to deliver on a big-budget film such as this one? MD: Paul’s goal, when he made “Bloody Sunday,” was to create a common narrative between the British and the Irish about a day that was one of the most combustible moments in recent history. That’s a Herculean undertaking. He shot the thing in, like, 25 days, and in the end both sides agreed that it probably went down (the way it was presented in the movie). To me, I figure if you give a guy with that level of skill a budget like ours, we’re going to be in really good shape. Q: You’re an old hat at stardom now, but does the notion of your own celebrity ever freak you out anymore? MD: I was in Boston recently, and that’s my home town, so it’s a little more surreal there. I was driving with one of my nephews and he said, “Uncle Matt, is that you?” I looked up and there’s this huge billboard in which I’m holding a sniper rifle, and I said “no, no, no.” That’s just someone who looks like Uncle Matt. So it’s still very surreal, yes.

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Santa Monica Daily Press, June 23, 2004  

The newspaper of record for the City of Santa Monica and surrounding areas.

Santa Monica Daily Press, June 23, 2004  

The newspaper of record for the City of Santa Monica and surrounding areas.