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"Mickey Blue Eyes," "Universal Soldier: The Return," "Three Seasons" and "The Loss of Sexual Innocence"

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"Mickey Blue Eyes""Universal Soldier: The Return""Three Seasons""The Loss of Sexual Innocence"




"Mickey Blue Eyes" British tweedypants Hugh Grant makes his second appearance this summer in a romantic comedy, adding empirical evidence that he is indeed the male version of Julia Roberts. Although this fish-out-of-water tale about an arty auction-house manager who falls in love with a Mafia princess has its moments, Grant's early summer romance "Notting Hill" is better. (Perhaps because his female lead was Mizz Julia, herself.)

If you can buy into the idea that mobsters are really thugs-with-a-heart, you'll enjoy "Mickey Blue Eyes." If not, then rent "Analyze This," which covers similar territory but is tons funnier. Although the plot device that spins this little ditty is love — between Grant and Jeanne Tripplehorn — the real chemistry on-screen is between Grant and James Caan as his soon-to-be father-in-law. Hmmm. What's wrong with that picture? "Mickey Blue Eyes" is passable late-summer entertainment. In the words of Dr. Evil, "Mickey Blue Eyes" is Romance Lite. One-calorie Romance. Quasi-Romance. The Diet Coke of Romance. Oh well.



"Universal Soldier: The Return" Muscles from Brussels Jean-Claude Van Damme does further Van Dammage to his sagging career. Reprising his Luc Deveraux role from the original 1991 international blockbuster, Van Damme is just going through the motions. Were it not for "Spawn's" Michael Jai White (he's the embodiment of supercomputer SETH) as his rival and wrestling's Bill Goldberg as one of SETH's deathbed minions, this movie would really suck.

The acting is second-rate or worse, as is most of the man vs. machine action. But there is something worthy of note in this sequel: No matter what the future holds, it seems there will always be strip clubs. Comforting, right?



"Three Seasons" Tony Bui's lyrical drama uses the "new" Vietnam as a backdrop to his exploration of four people's stories. The American experience is felt through the eyes and heart of James Hager (Harvey Keitel), a Marine who's returned to Saigon to search for the daughter he fathered. The other stories are uniquely Vietnamese: Hal (Don Duong) is a cyclo-driver devoted to a working girl (Zoe Bui); and, Kien An (Nguyen Ngoc Hiep), who plays a sweet-natured lotus seller whose songs charm the heart of the leprous poet who is her boss (Tran Manh Cuong).

Intimate, graceful and delicately crafted, "Three Seasons" offers a fascinating chronicle of people who are very different from us, but very much the same.



"The Loss of Sexual Innocence" Mike Figgis' semi-autobiographical tale appears to be about something important, but when it's all over you're left wondering just what the heck that was.

The movie follows — in elliptical fashion — the emotionally painful and embarrassing sexual experiences of Nic (Julian Sands). As we watch Nic's life, which was spent between the north of England and Kenya, Figgis counterpoints his emotional progress with depictions of the biblical Adam (Femi Ogumbanjo) and Eve (Hanne Klintoe). Although Figgis excels at creating moods through the use of images and music, the real loss here is your money. Far too cinematic to engage us, "The Loss of Sexual Innocence" bares all but shows us little.

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