"Divided We Fall," "The Others," "American Pie 2," "Osmosis Jones." 

Quick Flicks

!B! "Divided We Fall"!B! "The Others"!B! "American Pie 2"!B! "Osmosis Jones"

Movies are rated out of a possible 5 popcorns.
"Divided We Fall" — Holocaust comedies can be tricky endeavors. And rightfully so. Even Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful," which earned wide praise and acceptance, was called dishonest and offensive by many moviegoers and critics. But unlike Benigni's award-winning film, Petr Jarchovsky's does not take place in a concentration camp nor does it include any questionable heroics. Instead, it focuses on the dangers of hiding a Jewish man in a small Czech town and on the highly flawed — and therefore highly human — folks who come in contact with him. Moments of slapstick comedy meet scenes of surprising human kindness and pathos in this tale of a husband and wife. As we witness their daily struggle with just how far they will bend their beliefs to survive, things take a dramatic turn when the survival of not one, but three others becomes their responsibility.

"The Others" — With this supernatural thriller, Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenabar revitalizes the Gothic-house horror genre with intelligence and considerable skill. Building tension and fright the good old-fashioned way, without a single computer-generated special effect, Amenabar offers up plenty of jolts and red herrings on the way to the movie's final twist. For once, Nicole Kidman's cool demeanor works well, as a religious mother in post-WWII England who's trying to cope with the possibility that her husband remains missing in action. Her troubles are complicated further by her children, who both suffer from a rare illness that forces them to stay away from sunlight. Her servants have also mysteriously vanished, and now her daughter says she sees dead people. Obviously spawned in the wake of "The Sixth Sense's" popularity, Amenabar's fright isn't without some serious flaws. And some may quibble over the final twist, but all things considered, "The Others" left me chilled and thrilled.

"American Pie 2" — This second helping of the raunchy and riotous "American Pie" may not be as much of a treat as the original, but it still delivers enough stupid humor to make it a success. Yes, the entire gang — starting with the nerdy, sexually insecure Jim on down to Stifler's mom — returns for this summer romp. After their freshman year at college, the gang reunites and heads to the lake for what they hope will be their own summer of love. Along the way they learn the difference between true love and sexual heat; why Sting and others are tantric; and why one should never, ever leave Super Glue lying around.

"Osmosis Jones" — Who on earth came up with this idea? Let's mix a gross-out comedy full of disgusting, phlegmy bodily fluids with an attempt to preach the need for a healthy lifestyle. Alternately silly, funny and tasteless, this tale of a virus inside a beer-guzzling, junk-food-scarfing slob named Frank (Bill Murray) never rises above the yuck zone. The movie switches from live-action to animation once the virus takes hold of Frank's innards and a white-blood-cell cop, Osmosis Jones, (Chris Rock's voice) and a cold capsule (voiced by David Hyde Pierce) go to the rescue.


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