U A *tganllad
By Todd Weiser
Daily Arts Editor
The common tragedies of war and
romance are all-too often the subject
of literature and cinema. It's just plain
easy to produce a tear-jerking plotline
that mixes the brutality of battle with
the heart-breaking distance of destined
lovers. "The Odyssey" (the Homer
THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER
Crooked Fingers - The band, not the congenital defect. Their lat-
est, Red Devil Dawn, might be the best unsung album of 2003. Oh.
Wait. Well, it definitely isn't now. Rats.
poem, not the
TV movie) is
mostly to blame
for this classic
lends its struc-
Quality 16 and
ture to the epic Civil War love story of
Anthony Minghella's "Cold Moun-
tain." And that's a good thing on this
Like his Oscar-winning "The Eng-
lish Patient," Minghella finds his
material in a best-selling novel of trag-
ic proportions (this time in the work of
Charles Frazier) and then assumes the None of what you see is American in this Civil War tale.
perfect perspective that
makes for classic Hol-
lywood romance. Par-
tially drawing from his ' oNA N
"Patient" follow-up -
the underrated style of MINGHELLA'S EPIC CAST DEL
the disturbing "The
Talented Mr. Ripley"
- for the casting couch, "Mountain" fly-by cameos. and Union-p
one-ups "Patient" in its ensemble. In The cameos make the movie. actor creating
fact, the talent assembled here rivals While the Inman-Ada romantic acters with th
that of any motion picture of the past angle remains vital enough to Ada's home
five years (key word being talent, and never fall below the audience's the cliched w
not just star status). threshold of caring, it also goes grubbing ba
Inman ("Ripley" co-star Jude Law) entirely by the book, never achiev- Winstone, "S
calls Cold Mountain in North Caroli- ing that quality of a once-in-a-life- (Charlie Hu
na his home and a brief, repressed time love that dominated the clared"). Wi
courtship with the preacher's daughter superior romantics of "The English somehow over
Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) prel- Patient." With Inman deserting a overdone thea
udes his call to the North-South battle- Confederate hospital for the long grace, both li
fields. Through wartime letters, the road back to Cold Mountain, a flur- is Renee Zel1V
two share more words on paper than ry of characters (and character Ruby Thewes.
they ever exchanged face to face. Law actors) greet him on his journey. In Zellweger's
and Kidman more than fit their Peo- isolated sequences, Philip Seymour the film wit:
ple's "50 Most Beautiful People" roles Hoffman's lascivious reverend, With the dea
with each displaying a solid fore- Veasey, and Natalie Portman's for- could not su
ground of gorgeousness and shy sexu- lorn widow, Sara, provide Inman's knowledge of
ality that Minghella surrounds with odyssey with saw-stealing laughs Mountain"
Courtesy of Miramax
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used as directed.
The "Big Fish" soundtrack - Danny Elfman's original
score plus Buddy Holly, The Allman Brothers,
Canned Heat and Pearl Jam equals one elated
Daily Arts writer.
"Blind Date" on the WB - Watching this
daytime WB staple is a lot like having
mad cow disease: It eats your brain from
the inside, but at least you go down
laughing. And twitching.
Jon Stewart - Long before Newsweek
told us to keep our collective eye on this
dreamy fake newsman, Stewart was daz-
zling "Daily Show" disciples with his bril-
liant political satire. If only he'd run for
president. Of the world. Sigh. Courtesy of Comedy Central
n S O T "she's like a F'rappucino."
E E L S HO RTS Cheesy lines aren't the only foul
ideas that appear in the remake of the
l980's "Can't' Buy Me Love."' Breyer
LOVE DON'T COST A THING took the already corny ideathat a'loser
AT SHOWCASE guy (Nick Cannon) could pay off a
WARNER BROS. popular girl (Christina Milian) to help
him rule the school with coolness and
Now that Starbucks has invaded smothered it with overused stereo-
every street corner, it's taking over the types of popularity and dorkiness.
movies as well. We've reached that The only savior of the fim is Steve
day and age when there are no more Harvey. His embarrassing father-and-
original adjectives for screenwriters to son talks provide laughs, but not
use to compliment the ladies. "Love enough for the already drawn out two
Don't Cost A Thing' writer/director -hour-long film *
Troy Breyer goes low enough to write JernnieAdler
illaging sadness, each
g depths to their char-
he blink of an eye.
stand finds her fighting
ddies of Teague (Ray
exy Beast") and Bosie
nnam, TV's "Unde-
instone and Hunnam
=come silly dialogue and
irics, but the true saving
terally and figuratively,
weger's talkative tomboy
ball of energy injects
I an unexpected jolt.
ath of her father, Ada
rvive without Ruby's
the rugged, and "Cold
would not survive a
Curtesy o Miramax
Let's put him in a pot.
viewer's patience without the scene-
stealing Zellweger. There is more joy
in watching Ruby's buried tender-
ness unearthed than the remote
lovers reunited. This observation
reveals the film's failure and also its
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