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Reasonable doubts about 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt'

CAPSULE MOVIE REVIEWS

Also: 'Ink,' 'Loren Cass,' 'White on Rice'

September 11, 2009|Robert Abele; Gary Goldstein; Kevin Thomas

Hiroshi Watanabe stars as Jimmy, a feckless, unemployed 40-year-old divorced man living with his sister Aiko (Nae) and his disapproving brother-in-law Tak (Mio Takada) in their suburban Salt Lake City home. The film opens amusingly with the family watching a badly dubbed lowbrow samurai movie in which Jimmy had starred years before, but it swiftly becomes draggy and uninspired.

The film reaches its nadir when Tak slips on the kitchen floor where Jimmy has been doing an exceedingly messy job of peeling carrots, falling right into the knife Jimmy has been using. Rather than calling 911, Jimmy puts the seriously wounded Tak into a wheelbarrow, apparently headed for a hospital. Jimmy proceeds to paint himself as a hero when actually it is a passing motorist who saves the day. This act of stupidity compounded by self-promotion is beyond talented comedian Watanabe to redeem with humor -- let alone the picture itself.

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Kevin Thomas --

"White on Rice." MPAA rating: PG-13 for some violent images and sex-related humor. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes. At the Sunset 5, West Hollywood, and the Irvine Spectrum.

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