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sean connery stars as a harvard law professor who heads back into the courtroom , by way of the everglades , to defend a young , educated black man ( blair underwood ) .
the guy is on death row for the murder of a white girl , and says that his confession was coerced from the region's tough , black cop ( lawrence fishburne ) .
watching connery and fishburne bump heads for two hours is amusing enough , but the plot's a joke .
there's no logic at work here .
tone is also an issue--there is none .
director arne glimcher never establishes exactly what his film is trying to say .
is it a statement on human rights ?
is it a knock-off of silence of the lambs ?
glimcher never tells .
instead , he forces his characters to jump through hoop after hoop , over drawbridge after drawbridge , hoping that the audience won't notice what's missing .
just awful .
the madness of king george 107 min .
/ not rated ==========================
still wondering who nigel hawthorne is ?
then check out his oscar- nominated work in the madness of king george , still playing in both raleigh and chapel hill .
stage director nicholas hytner , in a remarkable screen debut , has adapted alan bennett's 1991 tragic comedy to fine effect .
sumptuous-looking and only mildly stuffy , the film charts the madness that plagued king george iii ( hawthorne ) almost 30 years into his reign .
a man of no importance 98 min .
/ rated " r " ======================
in suri krishnamma's a man of no importance , albert finney disappears so deeply into the role of a lovable dublin bus conductor that it's a shame when the film gets so serious around him .
his character is a conductor with a passion for oscar wilde .
he reads to his riders , and once a year , with their help , he tries to stage one of the author's plays .
this year it's " salome . "
for about an hour , there's a sweet magic behind finney and his troupe of working-class stiffs .
conflict arises , but it's small stuff--an administrator from the bus company here , an outraged catholic pork butcher ( michael gambon ) there .
but with finney at the wheel , so to speak , the film rolls smoothly over these plot points--just like the gorgeous leland double-decker bus in the story .
where things get serious is toward the end of the film , when the plot takes a turn that the bus never would , and the story heads down a very dark alley that marks the end of an enjoyable ride .
the twist makes sense--and helps paint a complete picture of finney's character--but the trip to get there betrays the light , airy atmosphere of what had come before .
it's not a fatal misstep , mind you , and it doesn't send the story soaring into the realms of incredulity .
it's just a turn off .
dr . strangelove 93 min .
/ not rated ===============
mein fuhrer !
the most fun that * i * had last month was in durham , at the carolina , at a mid-week screening of stanley kubrick's pitch-black comedy dr .
strangelove ( or how i learned to stop worrying and love the bomb ) .
the 1964 film stars peter sellers ( in three roles ) , george c . scott , sterling hayden , and slim pickens .
their antics brought the house down , which , to my surprise , was packed by an audience younger than the film .
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