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movie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave, John Neville, Gary Reineke, Bradley Hall

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Terminally tedious, SPIDER is all mood and no movie. By normally outrageous director David Cronenberg (EXISTENZ and CRASH), it is his first picture that could be called boring.

Ralph Fiennes plays Dennis "Spider" Cleg, a madman who has just been released from a mental institution. Using a stub of a pencil, Spider takes copious notes in an old notebook using a made-up alphabet. Moving as slowly as molasses on a cold winter day, the story has Spider revisiting his childhood via flashbacks. As he looks in on himself as a boy, played by Bradley Hall, the adult Spider repeats the child's lines. Miranda Richardson and Gabriel Byrne play his parents.

You'll go mad trying to figure out the movie's small mysteries. Don't tax your brain. The secrets aren't worth it. After a maddeningly long sixty minutes, you finally get some insights into Spider's delusions. You will, that is, if you haven't walked out long before then. Unless you're one of those art house types who thinks boring is brilliant, you'll probably want to pass.

SPIDER runs 1:38. It is rated R for "sexuality, brief violence and language" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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