Combustible Celluloid
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With: Samuel L. Jackson, Ann Magnuson, Aunjanue Ellis, Tamara Tunie, Anthony Michael Hall, Colm Feore
Written by: George Dawes Green, based on his novel
Directed by: Kasi Lemmons
MPAA Rating: R for language, some violence and sexuality
Running Time: 105
Date: 01/19/2001

The Caveman's Valentine (2001)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Hearts and Souls

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In one of his finest performances, Samuel L. Jackson howls and stomps his way through this new film by director Kasi Lemmons, her follow-up to the great Eve's Bayou (1997). Jackson plays the "Caveman," a.k.a. Romulus Ledbetter, a former classically-trained concert pianist now turned crazy homeless guy who lives in a cave in Central Park (he gets messages from Moth Seraphs in his head). When he finds the frozen corpse of a friend in a nearby tree, Romulus takes on the case, doing some pretty slick detective work for a crazy guy. The script, adapted by George Dawes Green from his own book, asks us to suspend quite a lot in the way of logic, but Lemmons brings a lovely "magical realism" to the film and we're carried away. Anthony Michael Hall and Ann Magnuson also star.

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