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quick flicks

The Four Feathers, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Ballistic

"Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever" — Other than offering a mind-numbing dozen explosions a minute, there's not much worthy of discussion about this poor excuse for computer-generated excess. Except, of course, the bad acting, the bad dialogue and yes, even the bad movie music. But the baddest thing about "Ballistic: yada-yada-yada" is that it's not bad enough to be smirky fun. Antonio Banderas is Ecks and Lucy Liu is Sever. He's a former FBI agent who quit the agency when he thought his wife was killed by a bad guy called Gant (Gregg Henry). Abysmally directed by newcomer Wych Kaosayananda, "Ballistic" serves only one possible purpose: as a painful lesson in how not to direct a movie. *

"The Banger Sisters" — The movie gets an OK, but only depending on one's gender as well as where one stands on the proposition that even aging rock groupies deserve a forum in which to indulge in a midlife crisis. Moviegoers of the female persuasion will more readily embrace the bawdy, libidinous natures of Suzette (Goldie Hawn) and Lavinia (Susan Sarandon). And yes, the odd title of the movie does indeed refer to the No. 1 pastime our now aging bad girls were known for "back-in-the-day." If one buys into these gal-pals reuniting and championing their part in the so-called Sexual Revolution, "The Banger Sisters" will be passingly enjoyable. But if one doesn't — yikes!— nothing will ring true: Not Hawn's trashy unrepentant child-of-the-'60s, nor Sarandon's uptight, hippie-turned-suburban-mom who learns to reconnect with and revel in her promiscuous past thanks to a trip down memory lane. "The Banger Sisters" has its moments, mostly thanks to Hawn, and to Geoffrey Rush as Suzette's love interest. And the sexual frankness is refreshing, coming as it does from characters who normally would be depicted as prudishly trying to push abstinence on the younger set.

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