Friday, November 30, 2007

Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Kam's Kapsules:
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening December 7, 2007


Atonement (R for profanity, sexuality and disturbing war images) Decades-spanning romance drama, opening in England in 1935, about the budding relationship between a rich girl (Keira Knightley) and the son (James McAvoy) of her family’s maid aborted when he is falsely accused of a crime by her jealous younger sister (Saoirse Ronan). Supporting cast includes Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Blethyn, Romola Garai and Anthony Minghella.

Dirty Laundry (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, homophobic slurs and mature themes) Out of the closet comedy about a black man (Rockmond Dunbar), living on the down low with a white boyfriend (Joey Costello) in New York City, whose world is turned upside-down when he learns that he has a son (Aaron Grady Shaw) back in his small Southern hometown where nobody knows he’s gay. Featuring Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis and Sommore.

The Golden Compass (PG-13 for fantasy violence) Epic escapist fantasy, based on Philip Pullman’s award-winning novel, about a precocious 12 year-old scholar (Dakota Blue Richards) already attending Oxford who ventures into a parallel universe to save her best friend and other children kidnapped by an evil organization known as the Gobblers. Ensemble cast includes Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen, Kathy Bates, Christopher Lee, Ian McShane, Sam Elliott, Kristin Scott Thomas and Freddie Highmore.


The Amateurs (R for sex and expletives) Bawdy comedy about a bunch of local yokels in a small town in Middle America who come up with the bright idea of making a porno movie. Ecdysiastic ensemble includes Jeff “Starman” Bridges, Jennifer “Stifler’s Mom” Coolidge, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Isaiah Washington, and Tim Blake Nelson.

The Band’s Visit (PG-13 for brief profanity) Cross-cultural comedy about the hijinks which ensue when an Egyptian police orchestra gets lost on its way to a concert in Israel and ends up stranded in a tiny town where everybody learns a touching lesson in tolerance. (In Arabic, Hebrew and English with subtitles)

Grace Is Gone (PG-13 for teen smoking, mature themes and brief profanity) Fractured family drama about a recent widower (John Cusack) who takes his pre-teen daughters (Shelan O’Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk) on a cross-country trip from Minnesota to a Florida theme park while trying to figure out how to break the news that their soldier mom has perished over in Iraq.

The Holy Modal Rounders (Unrated) Musical documentary recounts the unorthodox career of The Holy Modal Rounders, an obscure folk rock band which maintained a cult following for 40-year despite bickering, addiction and other bad habits.

Juno (PG-13 for profanity, premarital sexuality and mature themes) Coming-of-age dramedy about a pregnant teen (Ellen Page) who divides her time between getting to know the father (Michael Cera) and bonding with the couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) about to adopt her unborn baby. Cast includes Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons and Rainn Wilson.

Looking for Cheyenne (R for sexuality and profanity) Bittersweet romance about an unemployed journalist (Mila Dekker) who abandons Paris for the country, leaving behind a bi-sexual lover (Aurelia Petit) who then becomes involved in unsatisfactory relationships with an anarchist (Malik Zidi) and a lesbian (Guilaine Londez) till she realizes that her ex still owns her heart. (In French with subtitles)

Man in the Chair (PG-13 for profanity and mature themes) Drama about a troubled teen (Michael Angarano) trying to turn his life around by gaining admission to film school with the help of senior citizens living at an old folks home for film industry retirees. With Christopher Plummer, M. Emmet Walsh and Robert Wagner.

Revolver (R for nudity, profanity and violence) Guy Ritchie and Luc Besson collaborated on this crime saga about a mobster casino owner (Ray Liotta) who orders a hit on a lucky gambler (Jason Statham) who has beaten him in a private game. With Andre Benjamin, Vincent Pastore and Terence Maynard.

Strength and Honour (R for profanity) Overcoming the odds drama about an ex-boxer (Sean Kelleher) who re-enters the ring and thereby breaks his promise to his dying wife (Norma Sheahan) not to fight again in order to make enough money to save the life of their dying son (Luke Whelton). With Vinnie Jones as his formidable foe, Smasher O’Driscoll.

‘Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris (Unrated) Bittersweet bio-pic revisits the rise and fall of Jackie Paris (1924-2004), a once-promising singer who burst on the postwar jazz scene to win the Downbeat Critics Poll as the Best New Male Vocalist in 1953 only to labor in obscurity for most of his career following that explosive debut.

Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding (Unrated) Screen adaptation of the long-running, Off-Broadway play, set in the Eighties, about the comedy of errors which ensues for a couple of high school sweethearts (Joey McIntyre and Mila Kunis) tying the knot when both of their Italian-American families try to take control of the wedding plans.

The Violin (Unrated) Intergenerational political potboiler, set in Mexico, about a trio of traveling troubadours, a grandfather (Angel Tavira), his son (Gerardo Taracena), and grandson (Mario Garibaldi), who pose as harmless musicians while secretly helping to arm the guerilla movement of peasant farmers intent on overthrowing the government’s oppressive regime. (In Spanish with subtitles)

The Walker (R for profanity, violence and nude images) Woody Harrelson stars in this political potboiler about a refined male escort who serves as the gay companion to well-connected, Washington, DC society ladies till he unwittingly ends up implicated in a murder. Cast includes Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mary Beth Hurt, Lily Tomlin and Willem Dafoe.

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