Film

The Medallion
Directed by Gordon Chan
Screen Gems, in release

The titular trinket endows Jackie Chan with both immortality and freedom from gravity, but it's just as well that he doesn't get his hands on it until almost an hour in. After he's transformed into a literal Supercop, the action sequences become so FX-loaded, Chan barely seems in them. This outing, Jackie doesn't bring much humor or personality to his role, which is essentially the same one he played in the Rush Hour movies except with Ireland subbing for L.A. and the gratingly nervous British comedian Lee Evans in the Chris Tucker part. Claire Forlani plays Chan's love interest, and the film devotes an undue amount of time to their romance without ever making it convincing or relevant. —BEN KENIGSBERG


Green Card Fever
Directed by Bala Rajasekharuni
Net Effect Media
Now playing, Loews State

Though it's high time for a probing drama that illuminates the labyrinth of America's immigration system, those responsible for Green Card Fever should have their artistic licenses revoked. The title refers to an agency that lures Indians to the U.S. promising the coveted laminate—a fact that escaped me until the subject came up in a climactic trial scene. The film's problems are too numerous to list, but look for the boom mic at approximately 45m. Racial sensitivity corner: Why make the villainous lawyer a Chinese American (Robert Lin), his corruption supported by like-raced minions? A misogynistic whiff hangs about the enterprise; GCF doesn't know what to do with its American-born, culture-clash-fomenting female character, save dangle her as a prize for Vikram Dasu's baffled immigrant. One moment of near elegance: the incarcerated hero tears a piece of cheese till it resembles India. Then a sympathetic guard notes, "It looks empty." So does Green Card Fever. —ED PARK


Big Apple Anime Fest
August 29 through 31, Loews State
Anime Expo New York
August 31 through September 2
Marriott Marquis

Pimply, pasty otaku (Japanese for geek) will come out of the woodwork for the Big Apple Anime Fest featuring Initial D: The Movie, a 2 Fast 2 Furious for the meek, starring an aimless teenager who delivers tofu but becomes a speedster hero. BAAF also offers The Animatrix, nine stories set in the world of The Matrix, and Takashi Miike's live-action yakuza thriller Ichi the Killer. Across the street, Anime Expo New York screens the hilarious Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO) and Love Hina—respectively about a twentysomething ne'er-do-well who teaches high schoolers to meet girls and a sexually frustrated boy who watches over a girls' dormitory. —JANET KIM

 
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