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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

AUGUST 14, 2000: 

BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER. Answering the ancient question "can cheerleaders be gay?" with a resounding "yes!", But I'm A Cheerleader is a heartwarming and hilarious romp through the wonderful world of adolescent homosexuality. Sent away to an anti-gay rehab camp by her homophobic parents, Megan (Natasha Lyonne) discovers that her fellow campers can be a source of intense pleasure as they dodge the evil authorities and cavort in their comfortable shoes. Will Megan find true love? Will she be browbeaten into heterosexual hell? Must we forever put our precious national resource of gay teens at risk? These, and other ancient questions, are put forth with humor and sympathy in this touching film that is based very, very loosely on Plato's Lysis. --DiGiovanna


COYOTE UGLY. If you're inclined to indulge the fantasy that a world exists in which there's a bar run by reform-school supermodels, where Top-40 pop songs are created during the wee hours by the Keebler elves of the music industry (i.e., young, working-class underdogs with big hearts and no breaks), and that fish-packing, hamburger-jockey orphan boys from Australia will make all your romantic dreams come true, then stay far, far away from New York City. This is a public service message. You might, however, wake up and find yourself in Coyote Ugly, set in mythical Manhattan, a mere 42 miles from the New Jersey 'burbs. And if you regain consciousness there, many of you will discover your romantic delusions (starring Piper Perabo, Maria Bello, Tyra Banks, Izabella Miko and Adam Garcia) have disintegrated into a smear of smarmy dialog, bad acting (with the mild exception of John Goodman) and love songs so intolerable you'll consider chewing off your own hand to escape buying another ticket to a romantic comedy. If so, congratulations. You're now a Coyote. --Wadsworth


HAMLET. Ethan Hawke puts the "ham" back in Hamlet in this Manhattanized, modernized version of the Bard's masterpiece. Young Hamlet is the heir apparent of the Denmark Corporation, only his mother has married his uncle while his father's corpse is still warm. Should he kill the offending parties, or just brood in a gloomy, overwrought manner for 90 minutes? Hawke opts for both, and in the slowest way possible. Brightening things up considerably are some stellar performances by Bill Murray in the role he was born to play, that of Polonius; Liev Shreiber in a fabulous turn as Laertes; and the hilarious Steve Zahn as Rosenkrantz. It might be worth catching just to see these three outshine the headliners. --DiGiovanna


SCARY MOVIE Gross-out humor meets Airplane!-style parody in this body-fluid drenched spoof of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream. If you didn't see those films, stay away from this one. If you're likely to be offended by jokes so gross and obscene that I can't even describe them here, stay away. If you think Masterpiece Theater has gotten a little too low-brow of late, stay away. If you have none of the above problems, and want to see something that's incredibly trashy, often stupid, but also pretty f***ing funny, check this one out. It's got Wayanses! --DiGiovanna


SPACE COWBOYS. Clint Eastwood owed all of us big time after that True Crime travesty of 1999. Indeed, he makes good with team Daedalus in Space Cowboys, the story of four retired, wise-cracking USAF pioneers who get a second chance to be the first astronauts of their kind. Directed by and starring Eastwood, with an alchemical cast anchored by Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner and Donald Sutherland, Space Cowboys is that rare action film that can break the sound barrier and your heart without insulting your intelligence in the process. The flight sequences are pure action-movie fun, from biplanes and fighter jets to now-familiar views of fiery space shuttles and earth floating in outer space. Though we've seen every plot twist and special effect before, a tight script that plays with the patriotism of the '50s, our lingering Cold War cynicism, and a collective need to believe in the impossible hero makes this a near-perfect summer movie. --Wadsworth


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