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Film Openings

Week of April 30, 2003


Chi-haw-seon. Im Kwon-Taiek. The newest film by Korean grandmaster Im Kwon-Taek (Chunhyang) tells the story of renowned nineteenth-century painter Jang Seung-ub (Choi Min-Sik), an artist whose revolutionary work -- and persona -- has forever changed the face of Korean art. Using the pen name Oh-won, Jang's inspiration was derived by addiction to alcohol and his convoluted love affairs with women. Opens Friday, May 2, at the Tivoli. NR

The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Jim Fall. Opens Friday, May 2, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

Space Station. Toni Myers. This is the closest you're going to get to actually being inside the International Space Station, and it's a strange mix of the glorious and unglamorous. The glory is IMAX-camera footage of elfin cosmonauts gracefully floating through white-walled modules, spacefarers shooting M&Ms into each others' mouths in zero gravity and awesome views of planet Earth; the gritty reality is that it's like living for months on end inside a series of connected lunchboxes, with no need for chairs or beds (the astronauts sleep in sleeping bags bolted to the walls). Cool footage features astronauts and cosmonauts training with life-size props in a six-million-gallon NASA pool, taking off in Russia's Soyuz workhorse rocket (the burst of the exhaust cracks the lens of a ground-based IMAX camera), going on "spacewalks" with jet packs and shaving (watch out for the floating razor!). The romantic soundtrack makes excellent use of the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" and the Drifters' "Up on the Roof." The funniest moment: One astronaut gives another a haircut with an outer-space version of the Flowbee. Opens Saturday, May 3, at the Omnimax. (Byron Kerman)

X-2: X-Men United. Bryan Singer. Opens Friday, May 2, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.