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"Red Planet," "Little Nicky" and "Urbania."

Quick Flicks

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!B! "Red Planet"!B! "Little Nicky"!B! "Urbania"!B! "Billy Elliot"




"Red Planet" — While not nearly as awful as the year's first abysmal Martian chronicle, "Mission to Mars," it comes dangerously close. The year is 2050 and Earth is so polluted it has to colonize Mars for the human race to survive. Apparently, common sense was the first commodity to die off. I mean, we don't have the technology to clean up our own polluted world, but we do have the scientific know-how to turn Mars' hostile atmosphere into a human friendly one? Huh? When the project to "terraform" the Red planet hits a snag, five dim but good-looking astronauts are sent to fix it. Carrie-Anne Moss plays the team leader. Tom Sizemore is the team's bioengineer, and Val Kilmer seems to be some sort of outer-space handyman. Silly, predictable and mind-numbing. "Little Nicky" — OK, I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Sandler's "The Wedding Singer." I even found myself laughing at the politically incorrect "Waterboy." But Sandler's hapless, albeit sweet-natured loser started to lose me with "Big Daddy." Now here's "Little Nicky," which is just plain offensive. As the youngest spawn of Satan, Sandler finds himself headed to Earth to recapture his really evil older brothers (Rhys Ifans and Tony "Tiny" Lister) before Daddy Harvey Kietel loses all of his dark powers. He's accompanied by a talking bulldog and two spaced-out devil worshipers. Oh yes, he also encounters an equally dim but sweet Earth girl (Patricia Arquette) with whom he falls in love. The plot is full of holes; the acting, painful; and the jokes, silly at best. "Urbania" — Jon Shear's grim, dark tale of love, loss and the unending search for intimacy in an increasingly cold world offers discriminating viewers an intriguing, involving time at the flicks. Dan Futterman (TV's "Judging Amy") is more than credible as Charlie, a man trying hard to find someone, anyone, to connect with in a world where electronic communication has replaced face-to-face contact.

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