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Hannibal," "Malena," "Saving Silverman," "Head Over Heels," "Valentine"

Quick Flicks

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!B! "Hannibal"!B! "Malena"!B! "Saving Silverman" !B! "Head Over Heels"!B! "Valentine"




"Hannibal" — Ten years after we last saw Dr. Hannibal Lecter sauntering off to have his doctor friend for dinner - literally — the screen's most fascinating cannibal (Sir Anthony Hopkins reprising his "Silence of the Lambs" role) is back for a second helping of murder, mayhem and FBI agent Clarice Starling. Sadly, director Jonathan Demme did not return with Hopkins, nor did Jodie Foster as Clarice. In their places are the talented Ridley Scott and Julianne Moore, respectively. But Scott is too interested in the look of "Hannibal" as he attempts to create a movie that's both beautiful and repellent. And poor Moore, she spends most of her time in a blue-hued basement, hamstrung by an irritating accent. Were it not for Hopkins's elegantly dead-on portrayal of Lecter, this long and grotesque thriller would be just another so-so police procedural. "Malena" — This coming-of-age drama from "Cinema Paradiso's" Guiseppe Tornatore offers incredible visual delights, not the least of which is Monica Bellucci in the title role. Set in World War II-era Sicily, the movie plays like an unearthly cross between "Summer of '42" and uh, well, "Porky's." Malena is a war widow whose stunning good looks and decision to start dating after her husband's death lead to the rest of the town branding her a whore. Except, of course, for one sensitive 12-year-old (Guiseppe Sulfaro). Though lushly photographed and genuinely erotic, it would have been nice to discover what the young boy sees in her other than the obvious. "Saving Silverman" — Will somebody please find Jack Black a leading role worthy of his talent? Pitifully wasted in this mean-spirited riff on "Dumb & Dumber" meets "There's Something About Mary," Black, along with fellow nutster Steve Zahn, are the best things about this tale of a conniving woman (Amanda Peet) who sinks her hooks into their best friend ("American Pie's" Jason Biggs). To keep the couple from marrying, Black and Zahn kidnap Peet and set their buddy up with a gal who appreciates their long-term friendship. While this does sound funny, the result is anything but. "Head Over Heels" — This bubble-headed romance mixes two classics — "Cinderella" and Hitchcock's "Rear Window" — with less than charming results. Teen-age girls and preteen sophisticates, however, will be swept off their collective feet by the Crown Prinze of teen romances, Freddie Prinze Jr. This time out he's a fashion exec who sends Plain Jane neighbor (Monica Potter) into a tizzy. She's smitten until she thinks he's a killer. The next thing you know, she's out to solve a murder with the help of her supermodel roommates. Modestly amusing until the pathetic plotting goes into overdrive. "Valentine" — Even Denise Richards fans will have a hard time recommending this middling attempt to revive the holiday-oriented slasher genre. It's your basic "Prom Night" rip-off about the social outcast who seeks revenge for a prank some 13 years later.

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