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"The Glass House"; "Ghost World"; "Glitter"; "Megiddo"

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!B! "The Glass House"!B! "Ghost World"!B! "Glitter"!B! "Megiddo"

Movies are rated out of a possible 5 popcorns.




"The Glass House"

Handsome to look at but ultimately frigid and shallow, this latest thriller gets bogged down in trying to tie into both the teen and psycho-drama trends. While one couldn't ask for a better cast, the plot, dialogue, soundtrack and directing constantly undermine the actors' attempts to inject a little thrill into the movie. Leelee Sobieski is terrific as the watchful teen who figures out something's not right with her new guardians and then must step in and save the day. As the male part of the evil guardian duo, Stellan Skarsgard turns in an effectively creepy and lecherous performance. But in the end, "The Glass House" is all too transparent.





"Ghost World"

If current reality isn't enough of a downer for you, check out this near-brilliant, but hauntingly disturbing downer of a twist on the traditional coming-of-age tale. Set during the summer after ultrahip, best friends Enid (Thora Birch) and Becky (Scarlett Johansson) graduate from high school, the two fear drifting apart when Enid considers attending college across country. Adding to the subtle shifts and changes in their relationship, things come to a head when Enid develops an odd attraction to older store clerk Seymour (Steve Buscemi), and Becky sets her sights on Josh (Brad Renfro), on whom both girls have had a crush. Enid and Becky are at their best when commenting on their dismal lives and the hypocrisy surrounding them. Although often quite hilarious, the movie and its characters remain an entertaining downer.





"Glitter"

More disappointing than most star vehicles, this rags-to-riches semiautobiographical tale of Mariah Carey's rise to pop-singing fame is abysmally inept. Painfully written, horribly acted and awkwardly directed, this movie musical about fame ends up defaming everyone listed in the credits — from star Mariah on down. Heck, even the caterer should be hanging his head in shame.





"Megiddo"

Sad news for fans of Christian filmmaking: This sequel to the Trinity Broadcasting Network's surprising 1999 hit "The Omega Code" is a much duller, more sullen affair. Fans of the original will cheer the semiresurrection of Michael York's Stone Alexander character. While Alexander appeared to die in the original, here he's back — still the over-the-top world leader and media magnate with world domination on his mind. York, who reprises his deliciously hammy performance, provides this sequel with its only energy. Although this sequel enjoys a much more expensive look, it's still the same apocalyptic gobbledygook but without the kitschy kick of the original.

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