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Richard James Havis

More from Richard James Havis

Before I Forget

It's doubtful that the seedy 'Before I Forget' will appeal much beyond a niche gay audience. The story of an aging ex-prostitute trying to hold his life together in the face of AIDS and increasing poverty is grim and gray.

film reporter

"Finding Amanda," a misguided comedy directed by "Analyze This" writer Peter Tolan, sinks under the weight of misogynistic jokes.

Up The Yangtze

"Up the Yangtze," a documentary about the massive and controversial Three Gorges dam in China, fails to engage with its subject matter. The dam, a hydro-electric power project, is the largest in the world, and has led to the forced relocation of over a million villagers, as well as environmental degradation on a vast scale. But 'Up The Yangtze' is more of a travelogue -- a tourist's view of the subject, which fails to put the relevant facts on the table.

Finding Amanda

"Finding Amanda," a misguided comedy directed by "Analyze This" writer Peter Tolan, sinks under the weight of some misogynistic jokes, trying to win laughs by making women appear stupid and crass.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

An everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach not only makes for pacey entertainment, it also allows director Christopher Bell to delve deep into the matter at hand.

Constantine’s Sword

The docu explores the institutionalized persecution of Jews by the Christian church from Roman times to today.

XXY

NEW YORK -- "XXY," an Argentinean film by debuting director Lucia Puenzo, rises to the challenge of its difficult sexual subject matter. The story of a young hermaphrodite who's not sure if she's emotionally a boy or a girl manages to be both raw-edged and moving.

Water Lilies

NEW YORK -- This French feature takes a dispassionate look at teenage lesbianism and female rites-of-passage issues. The clinical approach, while short on emotional displays, successfully illustrates the anxiety, worry and cruelty experienced on the road to adulthood.

Roman de Gare

NEW YORK -- "Roman De Gare," a thriller by Claude Lelouch, features murder, duplicity, romance and revenge along with enough red herrings and plot reversals to intrigue suspense fans.

Sputnik Mania

Appearing a little late -- Sputnik's 50th anniversary was in October -- "Sputnik Mania" probably won't do much theatrically. But the film, which is based on Paul Dickson's book "Sputnik: The Shock of the Century," should find a home on cable TV channels.

One Missed Call

Little wonder that this remake of a J-horror slipped out during the post-Christmas lull. The direction is uninspired, acting is lifeless, and the script borders on the inept. A PG-13 rating means that it's short on shocks, too. "One Missed Call" probably will die a quick death.

The Orphanage

NEW YORK -- This Spanish supernatural thriller begins interestingly and finishes intriguingly. But what lies between drags because the film lacks a driving story line.