There was something new for almost everyone at the cinemas this week. There was something to bother everyone as well. Big screens featured an acclaimed but violent foreign film, a big-budget and brainless action movie, a romantic comedy that takes infidelity very lightly, and a raunchy caper about a manipulative seductress.

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Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2000 Oscars, Amores Perros is the month's most highly acclaimed new release. It also carries the strongest precautions. The movie, a debut for Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, tells three stories. The first is about sibling rivalry, marital abuse, and a dogfighting ring; the second, about a married man who has an affair with a supermodel; and the third, about a killer-for-hire driven to realize what a monster he has become. All three stories are powerful tales about the wages of sin. But most critics are cautioning audiences that the first and the third story include grisly scenes of bloodied, injured, and dead animals. If you are a dog-lover, be warned.

At Christian Answers, Jim O'Neill sees the dueling dogs as "a metaphor of the savagery that dominates modern culture. These bloody games take place in decayed buildings and in abandoned swimming pools, once images of modern cultural dreams." Despite some weaknesses, he says, "Amores Perros is a cinematic tour de force and a chilling cautionary tale of the price that must be paid for excess. There is no overt Christian message here, but the warning that no sin goes unpunished is inescapable."

The film provoked comments from Nick Alexander, a contributor to the eGroups OnFilm discussion. He admits, "this film is not for everyone," but adds, "There's an ethical payoff to each of the sins committed ...

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