Culture

The Movies

Culture | The top 5 movies in popularity as measured by box office receipts for the weekend of Sept. 10

Issue: "Beating the school rules," Sept. 23, 2000
1
The Watcher $9.1 million
1 week in release
$9.1 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Keanu Reeves, James Spader / Joe Charbanic / Universal Pictures

PLOT
A sadistic serial killer plays cat-and-mouse games with the FBI agent looking for him.

MESSAGE
Obsession can go to disgusting extremes.

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CAUTION
Rated R for violence and bad language.

2
Nurse Betty $7.3 million
1 week in release
$7.3 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Renee Zellweger, Morgan Freeman / Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) / USA Films

PLOT
A small town waitress decides to live in a soap opera after she discovers her husband is a criminal.

MESSAGE
Pop culture is often more attractive then real life.

CAUTION
Rated R for strong violence, bad language, and sex.

3
Bring It On $6.5 million
3 weeks in release
$44.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Kirsten Dunst , Jesse Bradford / Peyton Reed / Universal Pictures

PLOT
Teen-targeted comedy about high-school cheerleaders who discover their best cheers were borrowed from another team.

MESSAGE
Success and cool dance routines help make life worth living.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for sex-related material and bad language.

4
The Cell $3.5 million
4 weeks in release
$51.2 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn / Tarsem Singh / New Line Cinema

PLOT
In this sick movie, a strange invention helps a therapist dig for clues in the head of a comatose serial killer.

MESSAGE
Abuse and trauma can turn an ordinary child into a grisly murderer.

CAUTION
Rated R for very bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language.

5
Space Cowboys $3.3 million
6 weeks in release
$78.8 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones / Clint Eastwood / Warner Bros.

PLOT
A former Air Force pilot reunites his old team for a shot on the Space Shuttle.

MESSAGE
People can do heroic things despite advanced age.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language and brief nudity.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Is cheerleading a sport? Bring It On (Universal; rated PG-13 for sex-related material and language) treats it as one, presenting a year in the life of a national champion squad whose members' lives center on the day they appear on ESPN to defend their title. This movie isn't sure whether to be cynical or respectful with its subject matter. New team captain Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) discovers their best cheers were borrowed from another school in the inner city (these people have plagiarism codes over "Aaaaaw yeah/We bad/We got the team/ We can't be had"). So the squad must find a whole new routine in time for competition as the urban team prepares to take away their title. For a certain segment of the population this will be exciting, but the movie never digs in to how obsessed these girls are with three minutes of fame on cable TV. At one point we see that Torrance's mom would rather her daughter win academic awards than cheerleading awards, but that point is quickly dropped. These girls do nothing but practice. Is national recognition really worth the price of giving up life all through high school?

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