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Culture

Issue: "Linda Chavez," Jan. 20, 2001
1
Scary movie $9.01 million
3 weeks in release
$27.29 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Carmen Electra / Keenen Ivory Wayans (A Low Down Dirty Shame) / Miramax

PLOT
This raunchy Wayans Brothers vehicle spoofs recent horror movies.

MESSAGE
Parody = crude, juvenile, and offensive jokes about sex.

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CAUTION
Rated R for strong and crude sexual humor, language, drug use, and violence.

2
Gone in sixty seconds $8.3 million
4 weeks in release
$34.05 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Angelina Jolie / Dominic Sena (Kalifornia) / Buena Vista

PLOT
A master car thief is forced out of retirement-agreeing to steal 50 exotic cars in one night-to save his brother's life.

MESSAGE
Helping family is more important than obeying the law.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for violence, sexuality, and language.

3
The Cell $7.48 million
2 weeks in release
$14.26 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio / Tarsem Singh / New Line Cinema

PLOT
A child psychologist enters the mind of a serial killer to discover the location of his latest victim.

MESSAGE
A remnant of good remains in even the most twisted mind.

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

4
Gladiator $7.39 million
6 weeks in release
$50.17 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix / Ridley Scott (G.I. Jane) / DreamWorks SKG

PLOT
A Roman general, held captive as a gladiator, seeks to save Rome from a tyrannous emperor and avenge the murder of his family.

MESSAGE
Honor is found in personal sacrifice and loyalty to family and country.

CAUTION
Rated R for intense, graphic combat.

5
The Art of War $7.08 million
1 week in release
$7.08 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Wesley Snipes, Marie Matiko, Anne Archer / Christian Duguay (Screamers) / Warner Brothers

PLOT
A secret agent fights to stop a conspiracy to destroy the United Nations.

MESSAGE
Right-wing plots and greed keep the world from living in perfect harmony.

CAUTION
Rated R for strong violence, some sexuality, language, and brief drug content.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Anyone for an epic adventure in 1940s rural Mississippi? That's what's offered by the offbeat comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Touchstone; rated PG-13 for some violence and language.) The Coen brothers (of Raising Arizona and Fargo fame) present the adventures of three hayseeds escaped from a chain gang in a story supposedly inspired by Homer's Odyssey. Ulysses, the smartest of the trio (George Clooney), wants to reunite with his wife Penny (Holly Hunter) and recover the loot from an old armored-car robbery. His companions (John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson) want their share of the "treasure." Along the way they meet Cyclops (John Goodman) and sirens (three women doing laundry), and they try to escape the wrath of the local authorities. Over time they decide to leave the criminal path. There are some religious references: The dimmer two join a mass baptism, thinking this absolves them of being escaped convicts. Ulysses mocks all this until he's vociferously praying for help when he's about to be hanged.

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