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"The Musketeer"; "Two Can Play That Game"; "American Rhapsody"; "Rock Star" 

Quick Flicks

"The Musketeer" — OK, film fans, let's be honest. Is it ever a good sign when a movie only promotes the guy — albeit the very talented guy — who choreographed the fight scenes as its primary selling point? I think not. Case in point, this umpteeenth redo of Dumas' classic "The Three Musketeers." Former model Justin Chambers brings his pretty-boy looks to the role of D'Artagnan, but that's about all. Out of his element, Chambers is consistently outclassed, outsmarted and outacted by Tim Roth's villainous Febre. Despite the presence of other acting greats such as Catherine Deneuve and Stephen Rea (who portrays Cardinal Richelieu with an English accent), the acting is uniformly lousy, the plotting confused, and even those highly touted fight scenes play like some tepid, choppy version of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Musketeer."



"Two Can Play That Game" — Originally titled "How To Make Your Man Behave in 10 Days ... Or Less," this romantic comedy is short on romance and long, long, long on that whole battle-of-the-sexes gamespersonship. Shante Smith (the delightful Vivica A. Fox) is an executive with strong ideas about how to control the man in her life — ideas which she tells directly to the camera while narrating the misadventures with her current boyfriend (Morris Chestnut). When she catches Chestnut out dancing with a woman from his law firm, she launches her 10-day punishment & rein-him-back-in program. Chestnut's buddy (a funny Anthony Anderson) coaches him to fight back, while Shante's gal pals (including the equally funny Mo'Nique) urge her to be tough. Though stylish and often funny, this "Game" contains nary a grain of emotional truth.



"American Rhapsody" — Most movies about the American immigrant experience view the New World as a land of opportunity and fresh starts. Writer-director Eva Gardos' "Rhapsody" belongs to a much smaller group of movies that acknowledge the alienation and disassociation that inevitably result when an individual is cut off from his roots. Basing her story on her own experiences as a little girl and a rebellious teen-ager, Gardos has crafted a touching and thoroughly absorbing memoir of 1950s immigrant life. While 90 percent of the movie smacks of authenticity, Gardos' questionable decision to tack on a shiny, happily-ever-after ending nearly undermines the unerring and unnerving truths that come before it.



"Rock Star" — Like the music its characters revere, this movie is all flash and little depth, though it's certainly entertaining thanks to the affable cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West and Timothy Spall. This bit of heavy-metal wish fulfillment features Wahlberg as a rock-star wannabe who heads up a tribute band that covers the music of the real deal, a band called "Steel Dragon." But when that band boots its singer, the members tap Wahlberg for an audition. The best moments in the movie are when Wahlberg's character starts to live his dream. But instead of letting him enjoy this free ride of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, director Stephen Herek ("The Mighty Ducks") pulls back. Trying to turn this hazy dream into something of a cautionary tale, which at the last minute ruins the
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