[VIDEO REVIEWS]Stars Can't Save These Gangster Farces

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[VIDEO REVIEWS]Stars Can't Save These Gangster Farces

New videos out this week include "The Mexican," "See Spot Run" ("Spot" in Korean), "Jaded," the French movie "The Taste of Other" ("Tainui Chuihyang" in Korea, "Le Gout des Autres" in French) and the Korean animated film, "Byeoljubu Haero." Reviewed here are two of them, both gangster comedies.



THE MEXICAN (2001)

Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and James Gandolfini.

Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, looking for love and a pistola, seem like a dream pairing, but the on-screen chemistry never materializes. It's the first time the two have starred together - but they're much better apart.

Despite a two-hour convoluted plot, the star power does manage to shine through a bit. Pitt plays Jerry Welbach, an inept L.A. grifter trying to get out of the business. His boss gives him an ultimatum: Go to Mexico, find a finely crafted vintage pistol known as "the Mexican," or else.

Tracking down the pistol is easy, but it turns out the side arm is cursed. Jerry loses it, of course, then not only is his rental car stolen, but his backup transportation, a donkey, runs away.

Roberts appears as Sam, Jerry's girlfriend back in Los Angeles. Fed up with Jerry's irresponsibility, she takes off for the bright lights of Las Vegas.

The gangsters begin to suspect Jerry, so they send a hit man (Gandolfini), to take Sam hostage.

Gandolfini, of "The Sopranos" fame, gives a compelling performance as a sensitive, gay hit man befriending Samantha. He ends up carrying the film and connects better with Roberts than Pitt does.

If you're looking for love, "The Mexican" misfires. But if you're looking for mindless fun, you could do worse.



SEE SPOT RUN (2001)

Directed by John Whitesell. Starring David Arquette, Leslie Bibb, Paul Sorvino, Angus T. Jones, Joe Viterelli and Steven Shirripa.

Who wouldn't love a family movie about dogs, cute children and beautiful single mothers? Well, "See Spot Run" might be a good movie on paper, but this slapstick comedy falls flat.

David Arquette stars as Gordon, a bumbling mailman who hates dogs. To win over his lovely neighbor (Bibb), he offers to baby-sit her son (Jones). But Gordon has his hands full and ends up saddled with a dog on the run from the mob.

A veteran FBI bloodhound named Agent 11 has nipped crime boss Sonny Talia (Sorvino) one too many times. Sonny sends out two hit men (Viterelli and Shirripa) to terminate the pooch, who finds Gordon's mail truck the perfect hideout.

Arquette tries to pull off Adam Sandler gags here but mostly flails. The young audience the movie targets, though, will probably be forgiving.

by Joe Yong-hee

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