"Space Cowboys," "Hollow Man," "Coyote Ugly" and "Bossa Nova" 

Quick Flicks

!B! "Space Cowboys"!B! "Hollow Man"!B! "Coyote Ugly"!B! "Bossa Nova"

"Space Cowboys" — Clint Eastwood makes our day directing and starring in this crowd-pleasing space adventure. As one of the original test pilots in line to be the first American in space, Eastwood (along with Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner) has never quite gotten over being "passed over" for a chimp. When an aging satellite needs an overhaul to prevent it from destroying Earth, he's more than ready to prove he and his buds still have the "ripe" stuff. There's lots of "old guy" vs. "young guy" humor as Eastwood and his fly guys struggle to get back into shape. Of course, when the chips are down and a few unexpected twists of fate and plot hamstring the younger astronauts once they're in outer space, it's the old guys who take charge. "Space Cowboys" is an expertly directed, acted and written crowd-pleaser.

"Hollow Man" — This latest reworking of "The Invisible Man" tale starts off well enough but quickly turns into a mean-spirited voyeuristic creep-fest. Kevin Bacon stars as a mad scientist who's figured out not only how to make living creatures invisible, but how to change them back. Now it's time for that almighty human trial and Bacon chooses to be the guinea pig. This nutty professor type happily answers to the nickname "God."

Director Paul Verhoeven ("Total Recall," "Basic Instinct," "Showgirls") effectively ratchets up the tension using state-of-the-art special effects and creepy dream sequences, but he doesn't know when to stop.

Everything begins to unravel as "Hollow Man" becomes a mindless, poorly acted excuse for gore. While some of the visual effects are eye-popping, the acting and story aren't.

"Coyote Ugly" — When a movie is this bad, it's tough "not" to recommend it. Sitting through this cliché-driven, titillation extravaganza does offer unintentional but masochistic entertainment. It's another "Showgirls," but without the nudity.

Piper Perabo plays a 21-year-old New Jersey girl who wants to become a famous songwriter. When her funds run low, she becomes a bartender at a trendy Big Apple night spot named "Coyote Ugly." Her barmates include Tyra Banks, Izabella Miko, Bridget Moynahan and owner Maria Bello. All their outrageous antics inside the bar earn them big-time reps and help our little Joisy-gal gain the confidence to pursue her dream. Loud, gaudy and stupefyingly rated PG-13 (there's a wet T-shirt contest!), "Coyote Ugly" is so bad it's perverse fun.

"Bossa Nova" — Slight but sweet, this wannabe screwball romance hums along to a dreamy-sexy Brazilian beat. Amy Irving stars as a fortysomething widow in Rio de Janiero who believes her one shot at love has come and gone. But the fates and Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Barreto (Mr. Amy Irving, by the way) have something else in mind. Enter suave lawyer Pedro (played by longtime Brazilian leading man Antonio Fagundes). His philandering wife has just left him and he becomes intrigued by Irving's character.

A romantic roundelay where the lives and loves of a dozen or so characters meet, mesh and fall apart, "Bossa Nova" isn't nearly as wonderful as we want it to be. But it will have you smiling, if only wistfully.


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