"Dick," "The Thomas Crown Affair," "Mystery Men" and on video, "20 Dates" 

Quick Flicks

"Dick""The Thomas Crown Affair""Mystery Men"Now On Video: "20 Dates"

"Dick" What if Watergate's infamous "Deep Throat" character turned out to be two clueless 15-year-old girls? As ridiculous as that sounds, that is exactly the premise of this politically incorrect and surprisingly funny satire. When stars Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams take a wrong turn during a school tour of the White House, they stumble upon some wholesale shredding. Dave Foley's Bob Haldeman wants to distract them, so Dan Hedaya's President Nixon hires them to be his official dog sitters.

Before you can say Woodward and Bernstein, these two young girls find themselves faced with the truth of Watergate. Blatantly anti-Nixon, "Dick" is filled with teenage hijinks and lampoons of everyone involved. While the younger set will enjoy the broad comedy, the folks who remember the real deal will be laughing the loudest. Just remembering Will Ferrell's performance as a bumbling Bob Woodward and Bruce McCulloch's Afro-coiffed Carl Bernstein is enough to make me smile. How the mighty have fallen.

"The Thomas Crown Affair" Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo are as cool as they come in this stylish remake of the 1968 caper movie of the same name. While Brosnan and Russo may not be Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, they are certainly up to the sophisticated shenanigans and twists in this updated tale of a master thief and the woman out to get him.

Directed by action helmer John McTiernan, "The Thomas Crown Affair" opens and closes with spectacular heists. The movie's midsection is filled with lots of lush scenery, sexy innuendo and a steamy seduction scene between Brosnan's billionaire thief and Russo's savvy insurance investigator.

Slick summer entertainment, "The Thomas Crown Affair" may be a featherweight in the script department but it is definitely hot and cool.

"Mystery Men" Although it takes forever to get past introducing the characters and setting the story, "Mystery Men" delivers a hip send-up of the superhero genre. Based on the Dark Horse Comics series, "Mystery Men" presents us with a gaggle of super-wannabes: Ben Stiller is Mr. Furious; his lieutenant is William H. Macy's the Shoveler. Then there's Janeane Garofalo, whose killer weapon is a bowling ball with her father's head inside; Hank Azaria's Blue Raja; Kel Mitchell's quirky Invisible Boy; and Paul Reubens' Spleen, a toxic avenger whose gaseous emissions can be released with uncanny accuracy.

But what are superhero wannabes without a cause, right? Well, fear not, this rag-tag rabble of do-gooders is out to save Greg Kinnear's Captain Amazing from the clutches of his dreaded evil nemesis Cassanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush).Though "Mystery Men" has its moments of high hilarity, it also has more than its share of long dry patches. And for all its hip satire, its message remains simple: Follow your dream.

Now On Video

"20 Dates" Writer-director Myles Berkowitz films himself on 20 dates with different women in this odd hybrid of cinema verite meets "The Love Connection." Certainly too manipulated to qualify as a documentary, "20 Dates" does entertain. Most particularly when Berkowitz asks his dates for permission to use their date in his upcoming film — after the fact of filming, of course. Some of the women respond with court injunctions against the movie. Others help further the contemporary theory that sooner or later we'll all have a moment of fame. Or at least notoriety.

An interesting oddity, "20 Dates" is more a calling card for Berkowitz than an attempt to explore modern social customs.


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