News & Features » Miscellany

"O"; "The Deep End"; "Hedwig & the Angry Inch"; "Jeepers Creepers"

Quick Flicks

!B! "O"!B! "The Deep End"!B! "Hedwig & the Angry Inch"!B! "Jeepers Creepers"

Movies are rated out of a possible 5 popcorns.

"O" — Despite one tragic flaw — modernizing everything about Shakespeare's "Othello" except the characters — this high-school-set drama offers viewers several provocative and sobering points to contemplate. On the shelf for two years out of deference to the Columbine High massacre, the themes of betrayal, jealousy and obsession still work. Mekhi Phifer stars as Odin James, an NBA hot prospect though still in high school. Julia Stiles plays his girlfriend, Desi Brable; Josh Hartnett is his best friend, Hugo Goulding. But as those who know "Othello" know, Hugo's friendship is not true. Here, he's the starting forward for the basketball team of which his father (Martin Sheen) is the coach. Shakespeare's tragic themes come into play for Odin as the basketball season comes to a dramatic close. Conflict between friends and lovers escalates as Hugo sets in motion a devious plan that prompts Odin to throw away all that is dear to him.

"The Deep End" — When she discovers the body of a ruthless club-owner by the lake near her home, Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) assumes her 17-year-old son, who was the victim's lover, is responsible. Her maternal instincts kick in and she takes decisive action. But that's just the beginning of her troubles. A stranger ("E.R.'s" Goran Visnjic) seems bent on blackmailing her with an incriminating videotape. What transpires in this low-budget, neo-noir thriller is extraordinary. As Margaret struggles to keep her family safe, her capacity for pain and action knows no bounds. Swinton gives one of the year's most riveting performances as Margaret. Lips tight and head held high, she follows through to the bitter end.

"Hedwig & the Angry Inch" — Now here's a storyline one doesn't encounter every day: An East Berliner transvestite rock singer struggling with a botched sex-change operation pursues the celebrity and fan adoration he/she thinks he's/she's due. The inch of the title refers to all that's left between Hedwig's legs. Funny at times and even poignant, this post-punk musical keeps us engaged because of writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell's startling, amusing stage manner.

"Jeepers Creepers" — Move over Hannibal, here comes a new Bogeyman at the human buffet. Yikes! For the first 30 minutes this horror flick is a genuine fright. But then Victor Salva's script collapses under the weight of his having heaped on every scary cliché around. The movie begins in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" territory with bickering siblings Justin Long and Gina Philips deciding to take the scenic route home from college. Nearly run off the road by a wild driver in a dilapidated truck, they catch their breath long enough to spy him later dumping what looks like a human body down a pipe. Guess what? The two feel they must investigate. Duh! Once the faceless, creepy monster shows himself, the tension lapses and the story turns silly.

Add a comment