Movie Revews: 'Casanova' and 'Munich'

You have no idea how badly I want to say, You'll fall in love with "Casanova." Will you settle for being just good friends?

This film finds Heath Ledger of "Brokeback Mountain" in 18th century Venice, where the word "gay" meant something completely different. He's the infamous Casanova, the Italian adventurer and author, who was also, of course, a notorious womanizer.

The Inquisition is after him for crimes against … well, just about everything. The twist here: Ledger plays a Casanova who falls in love with Sienna Miller, the only woman in Venice who won't have anything to do with him.

Unfortunately, the funny lines and the fireworks surrender to bad slapstick and hidden identities. It's an impossible story out of an opera, and no one ever went to the opera for the story. Call it "Not great, but fun." Grade: B.

'Munich' Deals With Aftermath

"Munich" is not so much about the terrorist attack at the 1972 Summer Olympics as it is about Israel's response to the murder of 11 athletes. Prime Minister Golda Meir chooses a friend's son, played by Eric Bana, to head a secret hit squad and get revenge.

This is brilliant, breathtaking filmmaking, and nobody does it better than Steven Spielberg. He brilliantly mixes ABC's actual coverage of the kidnapping with the fiction of the hit team.

When a little girl answers a phone that's supposed to trigger a bomb, Bana and his crew run to make it a miss. This pitch-perfect cast is one reason Oscar needs a best ensemble acting category.

"Munich" opened last week in a few hundred theaters. This weekend it opens in a thousand more, and if it does well at the box office, it's a serious Oscar contender. It's controversial, but to me it's about a real Golda Meir quote: "We can forgive them for killing our boys. But we can never forgive them for turning our boys into killers. Grade: A-

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