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COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 11 AM EST SATURDAY * WHAT...One to locally two feet of inundation above ground level expected in vulnerable north shore communities of the twin forks of LI, north shore of LI, and north facing LI barrier island communities for the Sat AM high tide near the waterfront and shoreline. * WHERE...Northwest Suffolk, Northeast Suffolk, Southwest Suffolk, Southeast Suffolk, Northern Nassau and Southern Nassau Counties. * WHEN...From 3 AM to 11 AM EST Saturday. * COASTAL IMPACTS...Minor to locally moderate flooding is expected in the most vulnerable locations near the waterfront and shoreline. Expect around 1 to locally 2 feet of inundation above ground level in low lying, vulnerable areas. A few to several roads and low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding. A few cars may take on water and be damaged if not moved. * SHORELINE IMPACTS...3 to 5 ft surf likely for north shore of LI and north shore of south fork shorefront with Sat AM tides, which will likely cause beach erosion and possibly minor damage to shoreline structures. Along the oceanfront, surf should build to 4 to 8 ft Sat PM into Sun AM, with scattered dune erosion impacts during those tidal cycles. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Minor to locally moderate coastal impacts are possible for the same north shore communities of the twin forks of LI, north shore of LI, and north facing LI barrier island communities for the Saturday evening high tides as well. There is potential for more widespread minor coastal flooding along the southern and eastern bayfront communities of Long Island with the Sunday morning high tide.

<I>RED DRAGON</I> FALLS APART

LongIsland.com

by Ben Kenigsberg The best thing one can say about Red Dragon , a Silence of the Lambs prequel adapted from a novel by Thomas Harris (and, ...

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by Ben Kenigsberg

The best thing one can say about


Red Dragon


, a

Silence of the Lambs

prequel adapted from a novel by Thomas Harris (and, implicitly, from Michael Mann's 1986 adaptation,

Manhunter

), is that it sets its sights much lower than its predecessors -- and succeeds for a while as a result. When the opening credits play over a montage of newspaper clippings, accompanied by a Danny Elfman score that sounds about 75% borrowed from

Batman

, you know you're firmly in B-movie territory. (Although cinematographer Dante Spinotti, who also did the photography for

Manhunter

, gives the movie an eerie, big-budget glow.)

Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) has turned into such a pop-culture icon that it's probably impossible to make him scary anymore.

Red Dragon

doesn't even try. Rather, it paints him as a sort of Obi-Wan mentor to the film's hero, superstar FBI profiler Will Graham (Edward Norton). ("That's the fear we talked about," Hannibal says to Will. "It takes time.")

Will is on the trail of a killer named Francis Dollarhyde (Ralph Fiennes) who butchers families under the light of the full moon. Will is trying to figure out which family will be next.

Viewers of

Manhunter

, a hopelessly dated thriller with a few great scenes (despite one of the worst soundtracks in movie history), will be happy to learn that the storytelling in

Red Dragon

is more lucid. But that's ultimately part of the film's weakness as well. In

Red Dragon

, unlike in

Manhunter

, there's no hint of Will's contemplative side. In

Manhunter

, Will (played by William Petersen) was an obsessive, brooding gumshoe who couldn't bear the fact that when he messed up an investigation, people got killed.

There's no time for guilt in

Red Dragon

. The fast pacing keeps the story moving along, but director Brett Ratner (who did the two

Rush Hour

movies and -- the horror --

The Family Man

) fails to see the story at anything but a literal level. The camera never slows down; it never wanders Lecter's cell block, allowing us to savor the moment. There are bursts of excitement in the film -- usually accompanied by sudden loud noises on the soundtrack -- but there's almost no suspense.

The movie becomes increasingly ridiculous in its second half, when we start to see events unfold from Francis's point of view. (Before that point, we see everything through Will's eyes.) Fiennes is a great actor, but he isn't menacing enough here. It's admittedly difficult for an actor to play a man with a split personality, but Fiennes hasn't mastered the art of having a conversation with himself.

The first time the camera enters Francis's house, the camera wanders up the stairway and we hear a voice-over flashback of Francis being abused by his grandmother. The scene might not be hilarious if Francis's grandmother didn't sound like Mama Bates. Ratner is clearly paying tribute to

Psycho

, but he only succeeds in reminding us that we could be watching a better movie.

The impressive cast -- Emily Watson as Francis's blind girlfriend, Mary-Louise Parker as Will's wife, Harvey Keitel as FBI agent Jack Crawford (played by Scott Glenn in

Silence

), Philip Seymour Hoffman as a tabloid journalist -- is largely wasted thanks to the economical screenplay by Ted Tally, who also wrote the adaptation of

The Silence of the Lambs

. No time is left for character development. Norton's part is so awkwardly written that he recites his dialogue with halts, sort of like Dubya.

I fear that we'll never get another good film about Hannibal Lecter. By now, the filmmakers and studio heads have reduced the genius of

Silence of the Lambs

to a formula -- agent searches for serial killer, is helped by insane but eccentric criminal mastermind -- sapping it of all its emotional substance.

Red Dragon

isn't so much a bad movie as much as it is an inane one: a multiplex filler that keeps you occupied while you watch it, then vanishes from memory after it's over.