"The Tailor of Panama," "The Visit," "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles," "Freddie Got Fingered." 

Quick Flicks

!B! "The Tailor of Panama"!B! "The Visit"!B! "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles"!B! "Freddy Got Fingered"

"The Tailor of Panama" — Despite a dissatisfying ending and a nagging sense that things haven't completely jelled onscreen, director John Boorman's adaptation of John Le Carré's novel remains provocative and entertaining. Pierce Brosnan is Andy Osnard, a British agent assigned to assess the political situation in post-Noriega Panama. Geoffrey Rush plays Harry Pendel, a tailor and Osnard's dubious contact. Boorman's treatment is a postmodern hybrid of "Casablanca" and Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana." Brosnan has great fun stretching his craft beyond 007's limited caricature.

"The Visit" — Much more than a mere prison drama, first-time writer-director Jordan Walker-Pearlman takes the audience on a soul-searching journey in "The Visit." We sit transfixed as Hill Harper brings to life the story of a young man behind bars. We never know whether Harper's character is innocent or guilty; that's not what Walker-Pearlman's after. Yes, redemption is uppermost on his mind, but it's spiritual not legal redemption that intrigues him. Sadly, Walker-Pearlman's direction fails more than succeeds. His artsy quasi-cubist style — with short passages punctuated with blackout, flashbacks and dream sequences — stops the compelling narrative.

"Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles" — In an early scene, Paul Hogan's ultimate nature-boy Mick Dundee puts a wild razorback hog to sleep merely by looking at it. Wow! Who would have guessed that scene would become a metaphor for this lackluster third installment in the tired fish-out-of-the-Aussie-outback tale? Ten minutes of looking at Hogan, and I was battling sleep.

Basically a retread of the 1986 original with L.A. standing in for the Big Apple, Mick Dundee once again is befuddled by the trendy quirks of a big city. He's in Los Angeles because girlfriend Sue Charleton has returned home to help her newspaper editor father after his bureau chief dies. Or was he murdered? Crocodile Dundee starts sniffing out the truth. What was funny in the first movie seems dated now. This sequel's just a croc!

"Freddy Got Fingered" — It is with great remorse that I must tell you what this seemingly innocuous comedy starring 15-minutes-of-famer Tom Green really signifies: the death of civilization as we know it! I cannot begin to delineate for you the tastelessness of this big-screen ego trip. But the fact that Green does every gross thing he can think of it has nothing to do with how horrible this movie is. It's his total lack of either a narrative structure or an emotional arc.

Green plays a wannabe cartoonist who longs to prove to parents, Rip Torn and Julie Hagerty, that at 28 he can leave home and support himself. Along the way, we get to watch him beat the dead legs of his paraplegic girlfriend as foreplay, watch him manipulate the genitalia of large animals and use the molestation of a child as a running sight gag. As horrible as that sounds, it's not the subject matter that's so offensive, but rather that Green is being gross simply to be gross. There's no cutting-edge satire of taboos here. This movie's biggest offense is being boring.


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